Grandkids––You can take them with you
By Mark Dehority
We have all heard the sometimes-distressing news that “you can’t take it with you.” The end comes and we have to leave all of our everything. But, we can take loved ones with us, or, at least, meet them there.
My bucket list isn’t very long. I have done most of what I wanted to do.
The big thing on the list is getting to Heaven with all of my grandchildren. My bride, Lynnette, and I have 32 extra-special people we consider grandchildren. We are a mixed family with hers and mine and everyone else’s. People are married and remarried and we can’t prove a genetic link to all the people that call us grandpa and grandma, but they are our grandkids.
I am not sure how Heaven works. I am confident that many of my relatives are there, including my first wife. They give me a clear message: “Don’t forget the grandkids.” This is the most important item left on my bucket list.
So, how do I get these wonderful kids and their parents headed in the right direction and how does that impact my call to men's ministry?
From a men’s ministry standpoint, this is a topic that can bring us together and get us moving. The majority of men I know have grandchildren and want the very best for them.
At our local “Iron Sharpens Iron” conference, I enjoyed Dr. Dan Erikson’s presentation about grandfathering and his book Grand Fathering -Live to Leave a Legacy. Dan’s impact has started to redirect a major portion of my ministry to men.
Dan is an entertaining speaker with a great message. His message is grounded in Scripture and relevant to all men––especially grandfathers (contact Dan at: email@example.com).
With Dan’s help, I have arrived at the following conclusions:
- God calls us (and our wives) to be the spiritual leaders of our families. We are called to teach, lead and model the kind of Christian behavior that invites them to follow Jesus.
- We need to look closely at the behavior we model. It is easy to be loving to the kids, but, making a positive spiritual impact on their lives has to be intentional. If we are absent, that will have an impact. If our lifestyle is secular, that will have an impact.
- You can't sell what you haven’t bought. We can't just tell them to pray. We must pray with them. This applies to all aspects of our spiritual lives.
- In order to lead our grandchildren to Christ we must become the fathers, grandfathers, husbands and men God wants us to become. That transformation is men's ministry.
See you on the other side. Hopefully, I'll be the one with all the grandkids.
Mark Dehority, deployed staff
General Commission on UM Men