A Note from Chris Adams: We continue our series on ministry to moms and once again address the issue of grandmothers investing in, or actually raising, their grandchildren full time. Today’s subject also includes thoughts on investing in those children who are not actually our own to leave a legacy of faith. Read this post by proud grandmother Deb Douglas, Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA .
I was born to be a grandmother. As much as I love being a mom, in being a grandmother I have found my perfect niche for life. It’s not just the spoiling that I love, it’s handing down the stories and traditions of our faith and family. It’s seeing the stories become a part of my grandchild’s life. It’s life from a new perspective.
There’s a large population of grandmothers in churches. The potential for this group is boundless! We have a well-defined role in Scriptures, and that role is not just for our own grandchildren. In our transit world, the grandmother role can extend to young families within our church who live away from their extended families.
As women’s ministers, we can lead grandmothers from the stereotypes of the past to throw off the shawls and rocking chairs and become a dynamic force of prayer warriors, mentors, encouragers, teachers, and role models for the future of our churches.
First, let’s look at the commands grandmothers have been given:
Teach. Deuteronomy 4:9 says we are to teach what we have learned and share what we have seen God do with our children and grandchildren. We can encourage young moms and invest in the growth of faith in children by sharing the stories of how God has worked in our lives.
Mentor. Being a mentor means walking through life with someone—sharing what we have learned while also encouraging the younger woman as she mothers and lives life (Titus 2:3-5).
So how are women’s ministers going to encourage grandmothers to meet the challenges of these commands and use their grandmothering skills to impact others?
1. Teach it. At every opportunity as we teach the Scriptures, point out the commands women are given. God is not done with us as we mature. He is perfecting us so that we can teach other women!
2. Talk about it. Meet one on one or in small groups with women of grandmother-ing age. Encourage women to invest in the lives of younger women. Share stories of successful mentoring relationships.
3. Throw down the challenge. Be bold and direct in asking women to live out the commands of Scripture.
4. Take the initiative. Introduce younger moms to women of grandmother age. Encourage them to talk and begin a casual, informal mentoring relationship.
5. Train. Offer mentor training. Keep opportunities for mentoring training (such as YOULead) in front of women.
6. Take it to God. Pray for women to have a strong desire to invest into the lives of other women and their families.
The grandmother stage of life is an incredible season full of laughter, adventure, and learning experiences. It is an opportunity to share how God has worked with others. It is a time to expand relationships and invest in the lives of others. Through mentoring, grandmothering is an opportunity for all women, not just biological grandmothers. So get out there and grandmother someone!
p.s. Here are some links to additional resources you will find helpful as you encourage grandmothers to take this challenge:
A Beautiful Mess
5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son
5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter
Raising Boys and Girls: The Art of Understanding Their Differences
Your Girl: Bible Study for Mothers of Teens
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.