Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Let's Mobilize Grandparents to Influence the Next Generation for Jesus!

Yesterday I asked if your church has a, "Senior Saints" ministry or a true Grandparenting Ministry. If you thought about it and realized your church does not actually serve the group of grandparents who are between the ages of 47 and 67 and does not actually help focus older grandparents on passing on their faith as well, then your church is actually quite typical. Most churches do not actually have ministry which engages, equips and encourages grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

But, just because it is rather, "typical" for churches to overlook this, it does not mean you have to continue to do so. Your church can step up and make a real difference for grandparents of all ages; and in so doing, make a huge difference in the lives of children and families as well!

How you ask? By getting involved with the Legacy Coalition - Grandparenting that Matters! I have been talking about the Legacy Coalition a little for the past several months, but today I want to introduce you to the people who are part of this new movement and then share how your church can be a church which engages, equips and encourages grandparents.

First of all, a look at the staff of the Legacy Coalition. Larry Fowler is our "Chief Catalyst" (Executive Director), with Cavin Haper, Doug Jones, Josh Mulvihill, Wayne Rice, Valerie Bell and John Coulombe as Directors, Cathy Jacobs as Senior Writer (Single Grandparents), Diane Fowler and Sherry Schumann in Administration and myself as Senior Writer. The board is made up of Jack Egger, John Trent, Steve Bell and Ken Canfield. This group of people are dedicated to helping churches engage grandparents and to equipping grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

The Legacy Coalition's vision is to build a coalition of ministries which champion intentional, Christ-like grandparenting and our mission is to engage the church in the task of envisioning and equipping grandparents to impact future generations who know, love and serve Jesus.

The Bible clearly requires grandparents to be involved in the spiritual training of children; it does not call us to "retire", rest, travel and just focus on ourselves. There are more than 600 places in the Bible where it calls grandparents to pass faith to their children's children. Our "job" is not over once our children leave the home; we still have much to do.

Grandparents are second only to parents in their ability to influence the spiritual development of children and since ministry is accomplished through relationships, grandparents already have relationships with their grandchildren which they can build upon to pass on their faith.

This relationship is largely unrecognized and unresourced in nearly all churches. Many churches - as already mentioned - have a family ministry focusing on parenting and a senior saints ministry which majors on potlucks, hymn sings and Bible studies. "Retirement culture" pushes even Christian grandparents to pursue their own pleasure and too many have lost their vision for ministry. Churches can help "rekindle" this vision with a Grandparenting Ministry which engages, equips and encourages grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

Do you see the need? Do you see the potential? The Legacy Coalition is here to help your church mobilize the grandparents in your ministry to influence the next generation for Jesus!

In the coming weeks, I'll be providing more information about the Legacy Coalition, but if you would like to get started now, just email me - lyndafreemanatcd@gmail.com and I'd be delighted to answer your questions!

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