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Before the Grandparenting Ministry started at FBCW, we really thought we were doing a terrific job as the fun grandpa and grandma because we were very active in the lives of our grandchildren.  We attended their sports activities, school activities, church activities, cared for them as often as their parents requested, and on top of that, we prayed for them every day.  It was when we began to study with a group of fellow Christian grandparents what God’s Word has to say about our biblical role as Christian grandparents that we realized God’s design for

Intentional Christian Grandparents is so much more.

Together with approximately 25-30 other grandparents from FBCW, we have studied these challenging grandparent topics:

What is the Biblical Role of a Grandparent—Psalm 78:5-6: He commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 

Passing on a Heritage of Faith with Enthusiasm and Joy—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Practical Principles for Developing Relationships with Your Grandkids—1 Corinthians 13:4-5: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Never Too Late: Encouraging Faith in Your Adult Children—Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Loving Grandkids in Scary Times—Psalms 23:4: Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid for you are close beside me.  Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

How to Pray and Read the Bible With Your Grandchildren—Deuteronomy 6:5-7:And you must love the Lord our God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and you are getting up.

Grandparenting Through a Child’s Divorce—You might be the Esther in your family. God has placed grandparents in the family for “such as time as this” Esther 4:14.

Grandparenting at a Distance—Ephesians 4:2: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 

This ministry began with a group of enthusiastic grandparents forming the Grandparent Ministry Leadership team.  Here are some thoughts the Grandparent Ministry Leadership team  would like to share about how this ministry has impacted them.

Ed Preston:

“The Intentional Grandparenting seminar was so valuable. I would recommend it to all grandparents. I will use many of the ideas with my grandchildren. One method I will use is the practice of asking a blessing on them. (note Numbers 6:24-26) The blessing will focus them on many important areas for their lives when I customize the blessing to their situation and keep them for life.”

Vi Preston:

“The intentional Grandparenting seminar was spectacular.  It gave many practical points on how we can influence our grandchildren toward spiritual things and salvation.  I would recommend it for parents as well as grandparents.”

Angie and Keith Acord:

“We thought we were good grandparents, but what we have realized is that isn't good enough. We weren't being as intentional in presenting the gospel as we are called to do by passing down our faith though the generations. We hope that with age comes wisdom and that wisdom is sharing Christ in a way our grandkids will understand.”

Dallas and Joanne Brower:

“Based on the world's definition and stereotype of grandparenting, and if we were to ask our own, we would probably receive their praise. However, after attending the grandparenting conference we now have a renewed and enlightened view of using God's Word in this position he has given us. When God's Word is applied to grandparenting, we have a new and exciting future with them.”

Dee Schneider:

“I thought the Seminar was absolutely great.  Several things stand out, but I’ll focus on three.

  • The cultural deceit – a “leisureville” mentality that downplays and inhibits family ties (we’re spending our children’s inheritance!), or grandparents’ value is captured in their role as playmate for grandchildren. God wants our role as grandparents to be so much more than a playmate.
  • The ministry vacuum – Churches currently give little attention to grandparenting.
  • Praying a blessing over your grandchildren from Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.

There were so many good things, it’s hard to stop.”

Gary Waller:

“Wow, what a conference!  I did not expect much, and I thought we were doing the right things.  Now, I see much clearer my role as a grandparent and now know we have just scratched the surface.  The presentation and discussions were practical and opened my eyes to God's direction for me as an intentional grandparent.  I strongly feel every grandparent, and every parent should attend this seminar if they are Christians and want to see their kids and grandkids become followers of Jesus Christ.”

Linda Waller:

“After attending the conference, I have a much better understanding of our role in walking beside our children to support, encourage, and reinforce the godly values and lessons our children are endeavoring to teach our grandchildren.  In cases where our grandchildren do not have godly parents, the great command for us to step up to be the godly influence in our grandchildren's lives is very clear.  What I learned from the conference has made me want to be more intentional in my grandparenting so that whether we are eating a meal together, playing a board game, or just hanging together, they will experience the love and grace of Jesus through my words and actions.”

On Saturday, August 26, Larry Fowler, founder of the Legacy Coalition led the Grandparenting Matters Seminar at FBCW.  Those of us who attended came away challenged with a burning passion to pass on a legacy of faith to our grandkids.  We want to be “INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN GRANDPARENTS” as described in the following declaration.

The Intentional Christian Grandparent Declaration, by Larry Fowler (founder of the Legacy Coalition)

I am a grandparent and this is my declaration. Yes, I am a grandparent, but I am more than a

grandparent. I am a Christian grandparent.

I believe the Bible and the God of the Bible.

I've received the grace of the Gospel of the Christ of the Bible and I desire to be a life-long devoted disciple.

I want my grandchildren to do the same!

Yes, I am a Christian grandparent, but I am more than that. I am an intentional Christian grandparent and this is my declaration.

I love my grandkids, so I will hold them when they're born, I will cuddle them when they are one, chase them when they are two, read to them when they are three, play with them when they are four and laugh at their jokes when they are five. I'll support them, exhort them, cheer them, revere them, I'll praise them; even help raise them. I will be there for them, but that's not enough! As an intentional Christian grandparent, I will do more. 

I will pass on my faith, but my vision is beyond that. I will perpetuate my faith, therefore; I will teach two generations. But, I will not only teach two generations, I will think four generations.

I will ponder what kind of grandparent must I be, so my grandchild becomes one like me, then his carries on the legacy.  Yes, I am an intentional Christian grandparent. 

Culture says, "Retire and go play." I say; "No thanks. I'll pray!"

Culture says; "Pursue affluence." I say; "I'll pursue influence."

Culture says; "You're old, you did your time." I say; "Not so! I'm in my prime."

Culture says about the young generation; "You can't relate." I say; "Ain't true. My influence is great!"

I know my grandchildren need me, but from me they need Godly wisdom, my Christ-like example, my faith stories, my earnest prayers, my uninterrupted time, my unconditional love and my God-authorized blessing.

So, what is intentional Christian grandparenting? Let me spell it out for you.

I will Guide grandkids with grace.

I will Respect parent roles.

I will Abound in my affection.

I will Nurture their nature.

I will Deal with the dilemma of distance.

I will Pray with passion and purpose.

I will Adjust my attitude, in case

I need to Restore relationships.

I will Excel in my example.

I will Number my days.

I will Tell them my testimony.

I will Intentionally influence.

I will Never neglect the newest generation.

And, most importantly,

I will Give them the Gospel!

Because I am an Intentional Christian Grandparent and this is my declaration!

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There was a blackout one night. When the lights went out, I drowsily fumbled my way across the bed to the bed stand where we keep the flashlights for nights like this... I turned on four of them.  Yes, I like flashlights, and that’s a story for another day.

I was turning to leave with the largest and brightest flashlight in my hand when I heard a voice, "Now, hold it right there."

"Who said that?"

"I did." The voice was near my hand.

"Who are you? What are you?"

"I'm a flashlight." I lifted up the flashlight to take a closer look. There was a tiny face in the handle. I know...creepy, huh...it’s just a parable.

"Don't take me out of here!"

"What?"

"I said, don’t take me out of this room."

"What do you mean? I have to take you out. You're a flashlight. That’s your job.  That’s why I purchased you.  Your job is to give light. It's dark out there right now and your light is really needed."

"But you can't take me out. I'm not ready yet," the flashlight explained with pleading eyes. "I need more preparation before I can lead anyone out of the dark."

I couldn't believe my ears. "More preparation, are you kidding me?"

"Yeah, I've decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won't go out and make a bunch of mistakes. I don’t want to look bad and besides you'd be surprised how ineffective the beam of an untrained flashlight can be...."

"All right then," I said. "You're not the only flashlight on the stand...I'll put you back and take another!"

But right then I heard other voices, "We aren't going either!"

I turned to the other flashlights, "C’mon man!  You are flashlights and your job is to light dark places!"

"Well, that may be what you think," said one. "You may think we should go, but you don’t understand just how busy I am.  Right now, guess what I’m doing...I'm meditating on the importance of light. It's really enlightening, so to speak"...

"And you other two," I asked, "are you going to stay too?"

A short, fat, purple flashlight with plump cheeks spoke up. "I'm waiting to get my life together. I'm not experienced enough yet to go out and light up the dark."

The last flashlight had a female voice, very pleasant to the ear. "I'd like to help," she explained, "but lighting the darkness is not my gift... y’know...I'm a singer. I sing to other flashlights to encourage them to burn more brightly. "She began a rendition of "This Little Light of Mine" The other three joined in, filling the room with singing...while everyone who needed their light was remaining in the dark.  “C’mon do your job...shine!”

Take a step back and consider the absurdity of it all. Four perfectly good flashlights singing to each other about light but refusing to come out and give the light that was needed.

I’m sure you get the gist; you understand the parable of the flashlights. So, here is a question for you.  When was the last time you had a conversation with someone about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world? This world is certainly full of darkness, with many people stumbling around, as lost as they can be, trying to find their way in the dark. They don’t know where they’ve been, they don’t know where they are, they’re not even sure where they’re heading, and where they’re heading is everlasting darkness. If we Love God...and I know you do...the measure of our love of Him is our obedience to Him.  And if you Love People...and I know you do...the measure of our love for people can be measured by the risks we take to light the way to Jesus.  The people we know, who right now are living in the dark, really need, most of all, more than anything else in their life, the saving life and light of Jesus Christ.  You can be a guiding light for them, by the way you live and by the conversations you have.  Show them the way to the only one who can save them and give them life for an eternity, so that they will never have to be in the dark again, for “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Him”. (John 14:6)

Probably time for those of us who are saved to stop with the excuses and realize the opportunities, the divine appointments, the Lord sets up for us to share with others what Jesus has done for us and what He will do for them. C’mon man...let’s do what we were saved to do.

Really, what good is a flashlight that won’t light the way.  And what good is a........who won’t............?  You can fill in the blanks.

In fact, it’s good for everyone we interact with, those that we know to understand that all we have, the blessings, the guidance, the salvation, the light...which shines the brightest during the darkest days, all comes from Him.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick and it gives the light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16

 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (ESV)

Need to brush up on the gospel and how to present it in a meaningful way...just go to our website, fbcwentzville.com and hit the tab that says “about us”, and in that tab you will find the “gospel” in a video presentation.  Take it...and use it...because you want to...not because you have to.  That’s what Christians do.

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