The last question to be considered in this series on Grandparents is how to be missional.
What makes Grandparents home an extension of the church that many grandchildren may never enter? How can grandparents express their faith in their own homes, respect their children, but remain true to themselves? Or how to be missional in your own home.
We have discussed the importance of negotiating with adult children, https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/706
And the need for spiritual development. https://wordpress.com/post/thecrossinmybackyard.wordpress.com/712
We know that maintaining relationship is at the heart of faith formation, so the grandparents’ home, should be a safe place where all your grandchildren are welcomed and encouraged.
If you can share your faith with your grandchildren, then you might also find that some of the things mentioned below might help to set your house apart and be a place where they can discuss faith issues and use faith terminology, especially important as these types of discussions are no longer acceptable in public places.
But there are also some things that you can share without getting your adult children offside.
Picture books, movies and TV shows can have Christian themes, or in the least themes that are Christian, encouraging these when in your presence breaks no rules but lets you share something of your belief system, in a less direct ways. Storypath http://storypath.upsem.edu and Picture Book Theology http://www.picturebooktheology.com/2018/08/grab-go-15-our-tree-named-steve.html are great sites for finding books that can reflect a not necessarily intentional Christian theme or value. No need to preach just read the books and let your grandchild process the thoughts their way.
If you are allowed the freedom of sharing your faith with your unchurched grandchildren, your home may be the first/only experience of a faith community. In Australia protestants are not used to the concept of their home being an extension of their faith expression. I”m not talking about creating icons, but about creating an environment that reflects your Christian Heritage. Thus, how much you do, or how little depends on what you are feeling comfortable with.
Some things you might like to try are
- Music, be it a Christian radio station or children’s Christian music such as Bethal Kids, http://www.picturebooktheology.com/2018/08/grab-go-15-our-tree-named-steve.html or https://www.koorong.com/search/product/come-alive-deluxe-edition-cd-dvd-bethel-music/743062979869.jhtml
- Have Christian storybooks, scattered around the house, not just stored in bookshelves, and buy new books so there is always something new. These ideas came from Rev. Deakin Jenny Preston.
- That might include toys that encourage faith play, for example Let their light shine https://www.koorong.com/search/product/come-alive-deluxe-edition-cd-dvd-bethel-music/743062979869.jhtml uses hand knitted dolls.
- Hang up a Liturgical calendar. Mine comes from the Canada, http://christiancalendar.squarespace.com but you could make your own with your grandchildren.
- You could set the front table or the dinner table in the liturgical colours.
- Have colouring in sheets with a Christian theme, try Illustrated Children’s Ministries https://www.illustratedchildrensministry.com
- Celebrate other Christian events which have not been overrun by commercialism, such as Pentecost, Ascension Sunday etc
- Art work or trinkets that reflect your Christian Heritage
- Share your voluntary, small group, prayer or outreach activities
Experiment with what works for you
Have fun influencing the next generation