Sunday School began in 1780 as actual school for poor children which used the Bible as a text book. Religious education was a staple for children right up until the 1960’s when parents stopped going to church so much themselves. Today most churches have a Children’s Ministry because they understand how important it is to reach children for Jesus and help them grow to know and walk with Him. Churches and publishers saw a need, (for Children’s Ministry) and filled the need.
As time went by, churches began to see a need for Family Ministry and started being more intentional in the way they engaged, equipped, and encouraged parents, so they could teach their children at home about Jesus and how to know and walk with Him. Many curriculum resources began to include ideas for families to use at home. Churches and publishers saw a need, (for family ministry) and filled the need.
Now, churches are just beginning to understand another need; Grandparenting Ministry. Young grandparents care very much about their grandchildren and are a very enthusiastic group in the church which could be leveraged to impact children in significant ways. Keep in mind, most people become grandparents for the first time before they are 50 years old – they are not ready to become part of a Senior Saints Ministry, but they have specific need for ministry which equips them to hand down confident faith. Plus, many of these young grandparents (and more and more as every year goes by) are the ones who are bringing their grandchildren to church as more and more parents are not doing this. Not only do grandparents care very much about passing on a heritage of confident faith, but grandchildren often truly enjoy being with their grandparents.
I’ve been writing about this for years on both About the Children’s Department and grandma’s cookie jar because I’m a grandma and I care very much about passing on a heritage of confident faith to my grandsons. Look at what AWANA says . . .
AWANA says; “Grandparents have incredible power: they are second only to parents in their ability to influence children. The greatest joy and the greatest passion of a grandparent is a grandchild, yet this passion is un-leveraged by the church, and under-resourced by the vast majority of family ministries in America. It is time to change. Time to harness the wisdom, the resources, the energy, the savvy, and the passion of millions of grandparents – to redouble their efforts to be intentional influencers of our youngest generation. Time to envision churches for Grandparenting Ministry, and to equip the grandparents themselves to better address their desire to see the generations which follow them live for Christ.”
Grandparents need to be engaged, equipped, and encouraged to take an active role in influencing their grandchildren to love, know and walk with Jesus. Churches and publishers need to see this need, and fill this need.
How will your church fill this need for Grandparenting Ministry?