Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Equip Grandparents to Pass on a Heritage of Faith: Help Them Impress God's Word on Their Grandchildren

Image result for images for impress God's Word on childrenYes, I absolutely believe churches need to have effective, engaging and exciting ministry to children. I absolutely believe there is great value in doing the same with ministry for families, but I also believe most churches have overlooked a very important, if not vital "avenue" for passing on a heritage of faith to children: grandparents.

I've been writing about how a grandparent's job is not "finished" just because their children are grown. If someone has grandchildren, they still have a very important "job" to do. They absolutely are part of what Deuteronomy 6 is talking about and as such, they are part of God's plan to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

I looked at how the church can help grandparents with the first step in doing this; encouraging and equipping them to be people of the Word who have God's Words, "on their hearts". You'll find what I had to say about this at the following link.

Today I want to look at the next step . . . 

Deuteronomy 6 says  -
Let these words,"be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. 10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget  the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 13 Fear the Lord  your God, serve him only."
This is all about - 
  • Impressing them on their grandchildren - this means there is action involved. Grandparents can not just sit back and say they have already, "done their job". They have to be engaged!
The word "impress" means; "To make a mark or design on; to imprint." You can not "impress, make a mark or imprint" in this way by just sitting still. You have to be intentional to do this. It requires action and a choice. 

And, God's Word is what they are instructed to "impress" on their grandchildren. If they want to impress God's Words on their grandchildren, they have to be actively focused on doing so. It won't happen just by happenstance. The world is very focused on impressing it's "values" - or lack thereof on their grandchildren. If grandparents just sit back and "hope for the best", they are likely to see their grandchildren wander away from the Lord.

The price is high for not passing on a heritage of faith; too high. So how can we encourage and equip grandparents to "impress" God's Words on their grandchildren? Consider the following . . . 
  • Again, if they want their grandchildren to love God's Word and be "people of the Word", they have to see their grandparents are. Challenge grandparents to share with their grandchildren what they are learning from God's Word. Remind them to do this.
  • Provide a plan grandparents can use to read God's Word with their grandchildren.
  • Remind grandparents to ask their grandchildren what they are learning from God's Word.
  • Support grandparents as they point their grandchildren to God's Word when they face challenges.
  • And most importantly, help grandparents learn what it means to be focused on living God's Word in their own day-in-day-out lives.
These are just a few ideas of how we can equip and encourage grandparents to impress God's Word on their grandchildren, because when they do this, they are passing on a heritage of faith!

What do you do to help the grandparents in your ministry impress God's Word on their grandchildren?

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