It is not the same for grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church as it is for parents -
- Parents are able to tell their children they are going to church as a family; grandparents are not able to make their grandchildren go to church, nor should they.
- Parents often have friends at church who are also parents with children the same ages as their own. This means when parents bring children to church, the children often already are friends with other children in their class; not necessarily the case when grandparents bring the children to church. This may leave the grandchildren feeling lonely and like they do not belong.
- Parents attend parenting classes at church; most churches do not offer any classes for grandparents on what it looks like to hand down the faith.
These are just a few of the ways it is different for grandparents when they are the ones who bring the children they love to church. One more large way grandparents are different is if they are the ones bringing their grandchildren to church, there is a reason they are the ones bringing their grandchildren to church - it is typically because their grown children are no longer walking with God. This causes a deep, deep pain; and a feeling of alone-ness.
While all grandparents and parents absolutely need the church to be on-track when it comes to their Children's Ministry - and Youth Ministry as well, these grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church most certainly need it. They need their church to offer excellent ministry opportunities; and to do so all year long. They need their church to focus upon encouraging the "church kids" to befriend the children who are there because their grandparents brought them. They need them to notice when their grandchildren are not at church. They need their church to do all they are able to do to make it a place where the children they love actually want to be and want to be involved by engaging the children in the lessons and activities, so they do learn.
They also need grandparents who have grown children who bring the children they love to church to be willing to pray with them and who are there to encourage them as they hand down the faith. Grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church need grandparents who do not, to care and be sure they are included in opportunities for grandparents to connect. They need those grandparents to help them feel not so alone, because they very often do feel alone.
So, do you know how many grandparents in your church are bringing their grandchildren to church? Are you one of these grandparents? If not, how are you helping those who are? What is your church doing to help?
#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose