In my twenties and thirties I did youth ministry. As a grandparent I am doing youth ministry “round 2”, but now with my own grandchildren — and some of the old skills and instincts are proving very useful again.
I have two grandchildren whose parents aren’t actively involved in the church, but they know I am, and they don’t mind that I am passing on my faith. (I shuttle the grandchildren, aged nine and eleven, to school every Monday morning.)
We have to leave before breakfast, to beat rush-hour traffic. We stop along the way to have muffins at Kwik-Trip. Then I drop them off at school. From very early on at my house I have made sure to say grace before meals with them. They knew this is how things are done at grandma’s. This fall it became how we do things at Kwik-Trip, as well.
Two weeks ago my grandson broke his elbow, it is still healing. This week his dad hurt his foot at work and my brother had emergency surgery on his back. So I did more than the simple, “Bless us, O Lord” prayer; I added a prayer naming those who needed healing, but before I finished my prayer, my granddaughter interrupted and added, “and God make grandma’s back better so she can finish sewing my winter jacket as well.”
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by grace. Then, as my grandchildren were leaving the car, grabbing their backpacks and heading off, I was surprised by grace again. I said something I had not said before. It wasn’t all that remarkable except that it was out of my mouth before I even thought about it. (I am not the type who usually does this.) I simply said to them, “Remember to pray for everyone for healing!” Instantly, I thought, “Why did I say that?”
In a blink they responded, “We will, grandma!”
God’s grace has always been the “secret sauce” in youth ministry. I am beginning to think youth ministry might just be better the second time around.
How are you or can you help your grandchildren to pray?
Pray now for one of those grace moments to happen in your next interaction with your grandchildren.
Carmen Shaughnessy Johnson is the grandmother of three, lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and is one of the speakers at “Do It Grandly” seminars.
Copyright © 2018 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club