But, what do you do if the parents are not handing down the faith and if you are the only grandparents who hand down the faith? You do not give up. You continue to hand down the faith. You continue to pray. You continue to tell your grandchildren (and grown sons/daughters/inlaws) how God is working in your life. You continue to share Scripture. You continue to connect life with faith in God. You do not feel guilty for the things you are not able to do. You do what you are able to do. You do not give up.
This is easy to say, but it is not always easy to do. Handing down the faith alone is often difficult. And you do often feel alone. But, as I wrote yesterday; "Whether you have a team to work with you to hand down the faith or not, you still have God and with faith in Him, like Caleb of old, and with God on our side it does not matter what we face - our challenges may be huge and we may feel like grasshoppers, but God is bigger than any challenges!"
Do not give up.
This brings us back to what I said at the start of this post . . . it is NOT the job of our church to hand down the faith to our grandchildren . . . even in those cases where the parents and/or other grandparents are not handing down the faith. It is still our job. But what is the job of the church? Their job is as follows . . .
- The church has the job of coming alongside grandparents and/or parents who are handing down the faith to reinforce what the children are hearing at home. It is a huge benefit for children to hear other voices from other adults who tell them the same things about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible and church. And, it is essential for this to happen all year long - not just for part of the year. Some churches take the Summer off or greatly reduce what they offer in the Summer - this is particularly difficult for families where just the grandparents are handing down the faith.
- The church has the job of being sure they are engaging children - and being certain they are NOT boring them. For all children, but particularly children who are brought by grandparents, it is essential for church to NOT be boring. If parents allow grandparents to bring the children to church, more and more it is only IF the children want to go. If church is boring, the children are most likely going to choose to stay home. And, when church is boring it is sending the wrong message - a lie -about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible and church - the message they are boring. This is NOT the truth, but it is the loud message which comes across when the Children's Ministry/Youth Ministry are boring.
- The church has the job of providing opportunities for children and teens to make friends and build healthy relationships with other children who love and walk with God. God wants the church to be a place where people who love Him come together and connect, encourage one another and build those strong relationships - the community. This needs to be true for children and teens, too.