By Cherie Werner
The second Sunday in September is National Grandparents Day. What a great opportunity to begin making links between the older generation and the children in your ministry! Multigenerational connections offer many benefits and your church can reap the benefits of encouraging and strengthening those relationships.
As the family of God, you can intentionally help to build and foster the bonds between grandparents and their biological grandchildren. Even more importantly, you can help families who don’t live close to family form multigenerational relationships, too. These “adopted” relationships can be life-giving and faith-building to both the adults and to the children.
8 Ways to Get Grandparents and the Older Generation Involved:
- Ask grandparents to provide school supplies and write notes of encouragement to school-age families in your ministry.
- Invite grandparents to events, concerts, and special presentations.
- Send grandparents the children’s ministry newsletter, be sure they have the blog address, and ask them to like your school’s Facebook page or Instagram account.
- Ask seniors to help with fundraising.
- Ask grandparents to be photographers at sporting events, school activities, and family nights.
- Ask seniors to volunteer in the school for a half hour each week, giving one-on-one attention to young students.
- Host a multigenerational talent show.
- Invite senior volunteers to give the children a virtual field trip by sharing pictures and information from their own travels and life history.
6 Ways to Encourage Personal Connections between the Generations:
- With parental permission, put each child’s picture on a card. Include a little bit of personal information, and even a prayer request or two. Invite “grandparents” to choose one or two children. Ask them to pray for the children on a regular basis and then create some opportunities for those partners to spend time together. Ideas could include:
- Being once-a-month lunch buddies.
- Getting together to do craft projects.
- Gathering a group together to do STEM activities.
- Hosting a Grandparents Celebration any day throughout the year.
- Playing board games together on Saturday mornings.
- Visiting a nursing or veterans home together and doing an activity with the residents.
How are you promoting multigenerational ministry in your church? Comment below.
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