Encouraging the faith of your grandchildren
Studies continue to confirm that parents are the key people who influence whether or not their children will have faith. This means that one of the best places for young people to 'catch' faith is in the home.
Grandparents can also play a vital role in a child’s faith formation!
Recent research highlights the enormous impact of grandparents on this particular generation of young people.
Grandparents have a great opportunity to share their faith with their grandchildren. Sometimes, grandchildren can choose to follow in the 'faith footsteps' of their grandparents despite the situation where the parents may have walked away from the faith.
Here are five roles that grandparents can play in enhancing their grandchildren’s faith formation.
1. Be present
Grandparents have the awesome gift of being available, unhurried, and giving timeless care that has no agenda other than love. Grandparents have time to listen with open ears and hearts to the wonderings of a young child who has many questions.
2. Love unconditionally
Unconditional love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. Grandparents are so good at showing the love of Jesus to their grandchildren.
3. Connect the generations
Tell stories, give grandchildren ‘roots and wings’; that is a sense of identity (that they are a child of God). Consciously pass on significant family rituals and traditions.
4. Support the big kids
Sons or daughters and their partners need support too! Fill in the spots that parents don’t have time or resources for. Give advice when it is asked for and the gift of silence when it’s not! Affirm and support the authority of parents (and be careful not to undermine it.)
5. Strong spiritual guidance
Grandparents can be amazing prayer warriors, bringing everything to God in prayer. Modelling faithfulness in worship and church participation and sharing personal faith experiences. Help grandchildren to experience and understand the traditions of the church, e.g. the spiritual reasons for Christmas and Easter. Help them to understand the importance of ‘acts of service’.
Grandparents have such an important role to play in building the church. They bring such rich wisdom and knowledge to all generations.
For practical ideas on how to reach out to your grandchildren download our Equipping fact sheet - Encouraging the faith of your grandchildren.
‘Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will explain to you.’ Deuteronomy 32:17
If you would like to learn more about how to intentionally minister to ALL generations, please contact the team at Grow Ministries. Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will contact you.