Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Let's be grandmas who Pass on a Heritage of Faith!

(On my other blog, About the Children's Department, I was invited to write about Fammin in the Fammin Blog Tour. I thought I'd share my post with you) What is family ministry? This is the question we have been thinking, writing and reading about for quite some time, but with a focus on it for the Summer of '12. Matt Norman organized a "Fammin Tour" to try and answer this question; thank you for doing this Matt and for inviting me to "throw my two cents in"! 

So many excellent, thought-provoking and challenging posts have been written about this topic in the Fammin Tour. I like what Doug Olson said, "Family ministry is the church and the family working together so both the parents and the kids love the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength." Matt Guevara said something which caught my attention: "This is family ministry: identifying what God is already doing inside of our families and following His lead." I also am challenged by what Amy Dolan said, "family ministry is a starting place. a mindful perspective. a helpful distinction."

Well, you will certainly find much wisdom and many things to make you think in the Fammin Tour posts, please take some time to read them - if you haven't already.

So, what do I think Fammin is? I agree with Doug, Matt and Amy. Fammin is all of these things. When I turn to Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78 I find some clear direction from God and I guess I'm most challenged by the idea of Fammin as something which centers around "ancestors" as I notice the call to not "forget". Consider the following -

  • Deuteronomy 6 says, " Pay attention, Israel! Our ancestors worshiped the Lord, and he promised to give us this land that is rich with milk and honey. Be careful to obey him, and you will become a successful and powerful nation." 10 The Lord promised your ancestors . . . 19 just as he promised your ancestors." 
  • Psalm 78 says,  " 3 These are things we learned from our ancestors,  
    and we will tell them 
    to the next generation. We won’t keep secret the glorious deeds and the mighty miracles of the Lord And he told our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so that each new generationwould know his Law and tell it to the next. 7 Then they would trust Godand obey his teachings, without forgetting anything God had done."
God clearly has a plan which involves "ancestors" passing on a heritage of faith. As a grandma, this gets my attention. There is nothing more important to  me than to see my children and grandsons grow up to be people who know, love and walk with God. As you think about "Fammin", don't forget grandparents! I absolutely agree there is a strong, vital and essential role for parents, but don't forget the grandparents. Grandparents can, and do, make a huge impact on children! Grandparents can help children "remember" as they share the true accounts of how God has worked in their lives through the years. A grandparent's lap is a wonderful place for a young grandchild to be snuggled and hear about how God has been faithful! A grandparent's lap is a wonderful place for a young grandchild to learn about God's love and what a life looks like when you trust God! I want my children and grandchildren to remember God! I want them to know and walk with Him! 

Don't give grandparents a "pass" on the job of "passing on a heritage of faith". They are people who can speak to the enduring faithfulness and love of God. They can encourage parents and challenge children as they "tell to the next generation"! They can be people who "won't keep secret the glorious deeds and the mighty miracles of the LORD"! I know this grandma wants to teach my grandsons so they will "trust God and obey His teachings, without forgetting anything God has done!"

Involve and actively engage grandparents in your kidmin and fammin. Match grandparents and children in your ministry whose grandchildren/grandparents live far away so both are able to experience this passing on of a heritage of faith. 

Psalm 78 has some of the saddest verses in the Bible. These verses tell us about families who "forgot all God did for them". We do not have to look very far to see families around us who "forgot all God did for them" as well. Psalm 78 also shows us God's amazing grace as it says, "Yet God was kind.
He kept forgiving their sins." As you think about and build the Fammin in your church, find ways to engage the "ancestors" so families do not "forget all God did for them." 

So . . . what is Fammin? Fammin is equipping ancestors to pass on a heritage of faith!

Of course, for us grandmas, there is nothing more important than to see our grandchildren grow up to be people who know, love and walk with Jesus! God does call upon us to "pass on a heritage of faith" so we do need to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates." (Deuteronomy 6) Look for opportunities to tell your grandchildren about how God has shown His amazing love and faithfulness to you! Connect God, His Word and His love to the things you do with your grandchildren! Help them remember! Remind them to not forget! Let's be grandmas who are serious about "passing on a heritage of faith!" There is nothing more important!

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