Back to the Future

It’s 2061.  

Forty years ago, in 2020-2021, something big happened. The whole world changed almost instantly.  Everyone on the planet was wearing masks. The 2020 Olympics had been postponed until 2021 and were being held in Tokyo with no one allowed in the stands.  People were distancing themselves from each other, staying 6 feet apart. Today, we look back on photos and videos from that era and think it was nearly as weird as bell-bottom jeans and tie-dyed tee-shirts. Those were the “Coronavirus Years.”  Tons of books have since been written on both the immediate and long-term effects of this virus.

But it was also the time of the greatest boom of the baby-boomers. (A few are still alive but are now over 100-years-old!) The “boomers” exploded onto the grandparenting scene right at the time when the church was in crisis. Attendance at church services had plummeted. When members of the baby boom generation looked around on any given Sunday, it seemed like all they saw was white hair or no hair! 

But the “boomers” were a restless lot. They were doers and achievers. This was a time to fight for what they believed in.  It was a time to pass their faith on to their children’s children–to us.

The church did not die in the coronavirus era. It went through a deep crisis, but we didn’t know it at the time; we were just kids. What we saw were grandparents who believed something – something that brought them deep joy and immense gladness. They stood strong during the chaos of the 20’s. That stability was what we wanted and needed for ourselves.   

Today, we look back on those grandparents as some of the church’s greatest missionaries! They never brought the gospel to foreign lands. They were not young. But they had great passion. They were our grandparents, grandparents on mission, a mission to keep faith alive. 

Thank God, they did.

For Discussion: Call to mind a good story about your grandparents that you could tell your grandchildren. It could be entertaining, heroic, or fascinating.

For Application: Tell it to your grandchildren, AND send it to Maria to publish at

Mike Shaughnessy is the Executive Director of Grandly. He lives in Lansing, Michigan.

Copyright © 2021 Grandly Missions, Inc.

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