A Note from Chris Adams: It’s a common sight: Older moms picking up the children at school, carting them to ball practice, ballet, and rushing home to do homework. Some of those moms are grandmothers who have stepped in to raise their grandchildren. The reasons why are as numerous as the problems facing the grandmothers. This hits close to home for me, because we had a big role in our oldest grandchild’s life for the first few years. I remember the first time I asked someone if there would be childcare for an event at my church. The leader looked at me as if to say, “Why would you be asking about that?” Today it is not uncommon at all for older women to ask this question!
How can we as women’s ministers help this unique group of moms? Today, Deb Douglas, Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA , shares her insight:
- Grandmothers need childcare in order to participate in Bible studies, mission projects, and events.
- Grandmothers who are mothering are facing a complexity of problems. Every story is unique. Don’t judge the story until you know it.
- Grandmothers are tired. Offering to help out with the kids will be much appreciated. An understanding women’s minister who doesn’t expect too much time for volunteers will be too!
- Grandmothers need someone to listen to them and to love them.
- Seek out ways to encourage all moms—cards, texts, or phone calls on tough days and on ordinary days.
- Plan events and Bible study times with sensitivity to busy schedules.
- At events, include stories of grandmothers who are successful raising their grandchildren.
- Include time for grandmothers to share their challenges with you and other women.
- Make volunteer positions compatible to the busy schedules of all moms.
- Alter your expectations of volunteers to fit the lifestyle requirements of individual situations.
- Be intentional about praying for grandmothers as well as other moms.
- Find prayer warriors for grandmothers going through difficult circumstances.
- Consider having a prayer gathering for moms:
- Keep it simple.
- Set up prayer stations with specific items to pray for at each one.
- Include stations for prayer requests.
- Have women move from station to station.
- Include time for small groups of moms to pray together.
- Keep it focused on prayer.
- Keep it simple.
Every mother faces challenges, but those facing grandmothers who are mothering their grandchildren are unique. Often, these moms are ignored because of fear. Fear of imposing on a family situation, fear of not knowing how to help, and fear of a complicated situation are just a few of the fears that isolate these mothers and families.
It’s time for us to be brave and launch out into helping grandmothers who are mothering their grandchildren. The number of mothering grandmothers is on the rise. Be brave, be prayerful, and be ready!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline.