Monday, July 17, 2023

Offer More than a "Senior's Ministry" for Your Young Grandparents

Most of your churches have ministry opportunities for seniors. Most of the seniors in these ministries are grandparents. Most people become first-time grandparents between the ages of 47 and 50 which means, most of these young grandparents are not interested in becoming part of a Seniors Ministry - they will say it is for their parents! Plus, young grandparents generally have 15 to 20 years before they retire, so they are not even able to be part of most Seniors Ministries.

So, why am I writing about this on a blog for Children's Ministry? Because these young grandparents may very well be grandparents whose grandchildren are part of your Children's Ministry - and in increasing numbers, they are the people who are bringing them to your church. It matters if your church is equipping, empowering, and encouraging these grandparents so they understand both the need and the "hows" of handing down confident faith to their grandchildren.

As Barna's studies show, Gen Z is turning away from the faith they once had to atheism at double the rate of previous generations, and Barna expects this to increase to triple the rate by 2030 - which is just a few years away. You absolutely have grandparents/parents in your ministry whose hearts are breaking because the children/grown children/grandchildren they love have turned away from their faith. What are you doing about this? How are you equipping, empowering, and encouraging these grandparents? What are you doing to come alongside them as they deal with the pain and grief of watching the ones they love leave their faith? Are you doing anything, or do you think this is something for your Senior's Ministry?

If you leave this to your Senior's Ministry, you will not be helping these young grandparents who are not part of your Senior's Ministry - and won't be for 15 to 20 years. Is this okay with you? If not, what are you going to do?

If you are wondering what you might do, consider the following . . . 

  • First of all identify who these young grandparents are.
  • Find the places/ministries in your church where these young grandparents are connecting.
  • Absolutely identify those grandparents who are bringing their grandchildren to your Children's Ministry.
  • Make sure you know which grandparents are custodial grandparents - they are in a very difficult place if they have custody of their grandchildren. Be there for them.
  • Offer classes on how to hand confident faith to the ones they love - this is also essential for parents, by the way.
  • Make sure they know about resources they are able to use with the children they love to hand down confident faith.
  • Help them learn how to teach the "whys" - why they are able to believe God is real, the Bible is true, God is good, and God and science DO go together.
Commit to being a church which does not ignore young grandparents. These people need your help - be there for them.

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