Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Five ways to Get, "Out of the Box" in Your Children's Ministry - #3 - Connect with Grandparents

I've been writing about whether your Children's Ministry is, "in the box" or, "out of the box" when it comes to interacting with other areas of your church; yesterday I talked about how you can get out of the box, and stop being "compartmentalized" in your ministry by engaging parents. Today I want to look at how you can do this by connecting with the grandparents.

This way to, "get out of the box" in your Children's Ministry should not surprise you as I've been writing quite a bit about engaging, equipping and encouraging grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren - many of who are in your Children's Ministry. As I said yesterday, most faith decisions are made in the context of relationships, and while Children's Ministry leaders and volunteers can, and should develop relationships with the children they serve, they can not have more than a basic relationship. Parents have the closest relationship with their children, and grandparents are the next people who have the potential for reaching their grandchildren for Jesus, because of the relationship they have with their grandchildren.

When you think about, "Family Ministry" in your church, don't forget the grandparents as they are a very important part of every family. The most effective Children's Ministry is one which consistently engages, equips and encourages grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

So, how might you get, "out of the box" and engage grandparents in your Children's Ministry? Consider the following . . . 
  • You could involve grandparents by including them when families sign up to lead the worship/praise time.
  • You could involve grandparents by engaging them in the selection and implementation of curriculum - once you make a choice, be sure each year to provide an opportunity for grandparents to see what their grandchildren will learn at church and talk with them about how they can use the scope to launch what they do at home with their grandchildren.
  • You could have the grandparents serve on a type of gpta - provide opportunity for them to get to know their grandchild's teacher and organize them to support and encourage their grandchild's teacher throughout the year.
  • You could involve grandparents by having them serve as helpers with the children. (Be sure to interview and put them through your safety screening as you would with any volunteer - and in any class where you have a married couple serving together, be sure you have one unrelated adult or teen who is at least 16 years old as well.)
  • You could put together a team of grandparents who are prayer warriors. Have them pray for the Children's Ministry, the children, the volunteers, and pray for the children's prayer requests.
  • Provide opportunities at least once a quarter for grandparents and children to work together on service projects.
  • Ask grandparents to participate by slipping into classes before they dismiss, so they are available to give blessings to children as they leave.
  • Consider having grandparents "adopt" children in your ministry who do not have grandparents who are actively engaged in passing on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.
  • Start a Grandparenting Ministry to learn even more ways to engage grandparents in your Children's Ministry!
These are just a few ways you could get, "out of the box" and engage the grandparents in your Children's Ministry. How do you do this in your ministry?

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