Churches, Help Grandparents Leave a Positive Legacy


One of the best ways churches can do their part to help the next generation learn about God is to equip parents to bring up their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). But, let’s not end there. Let’s also equip grandparents in their role. Churches can help grandparents leave a positive legacy.

Churches Help Grandparents Leave a Positive Legacy on the Next Generation

Churches, Help Grandparents Leave a Positive Legacy by Strategically Planning to Equip and Encourage Them

When we consider the potential influence of grandparents on their grandchildren now and for their future, certainly as a church we should do what we can to help grandparents positively impact their grandchildren’s lives. Use the following questions to assess what you’re currently doing to equip grandparents in their role. Determine what more you can do to strategically plan for it to happen.

  • In what ways does your church intentionally build up, equip, and encourage grandparents to leave a positive legacy? (i.e., classes, special speakers, reading material, support groups, etc.)
  • What kind of structures have you put in place that provide opportunity for the younger generation to learn from grandparents? (i.e., giving opportunity for them to share in the worship service, pulling on their wisdom through teaching and mentoring of the younger generation, interviewing them, including their stories in newsletters or blogs, etc.)
  • How does you church honor grandparents in special ways throughout the year, not just on one special day? (i.e., verbal recognition, small gifts, praying for them, making a display to recognize them, a special luncheon, having grandchildren make a card or craft to give to them, asking grandchildren to testify to how God has used their grandparents in their lives, etc.)

Go to: Resources on Grandparenting


Make Adult Ministry Internally Impacting


What is the goal for adult ministry in the Church? Yes, we need to provide instruction because Scripture teaches about God and equips them to live meaningful lives. And, yes, we need to be intentional in implementing strategies that meet people where they are and spur them on. Yet, those objectives will only take adults so far if it isn’t rooted in their hearts. Hence, we also need to set a goal to make adult ministry internally impacting.

How Psalm 90:12 Leads to the Goal of Making Adult Ministry Internally Impacting

Goal to make Adult Ministry Internally impacting
Notice the reason for instruction and intentionality — “that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

God wants us to not only “act” wisely but to “be” wise to the very core of our being. Elsewhere in Scripture we read the following:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Prov. 4:23)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Lk. 6:45)

A “heart of wisdom” leads to the ability to make the most of every opportunity (Eph. 5:15-17) for the right reasons and with the right attitudes, implementing the best course of action.

How to Gain a Heart of Wisdom

To truly impact adults’ lives, we must show them how to gain that heart of wisdom. God’s Word makes it clear: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Prov. 9:10)

We must always point people toward a God who is great enough and most awesome in power and glory, the One of whom there is none greater. An anemic god fails to affect the heart. — Why should we come under the instruction of One whose authority we don’t accept? Why should we live life intentionally to the glory of Someone we don’t truly deem worthy?

Implications for Leaders and Teachers in Adult Ministries

Watch for setting external conformity as the end goal. Making it about doing all the right things often leads to extra stress and feelings of condemnation when they fail which is rather demotivating. Aim at making ministry internally impacting, heart transformation, for when we are who we should be, we’ll tend to do what we should do. That doesn’t mean we never teach or counsel people about what they should do but rather that we emphasize getting there by relying on God and His power and grace.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)

Continually pray for the people in your sphere of ministry. God, by His Spirit, enables us to “gain a heart of wisdom” so prayer needs to be an integral part of any adult ministry.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God … (Col. 1:9-10)


Make Adult Ministry Intentional


For our adult ministries to make an impact, we need to follow the instruction in Psalm 90:12 and make adult ministry intentional – “teach us to number our days”.

Goal to make Adult Ministry IntentionalWhile this phrase suggests an instructional goal (“teach us”), what we’re asking God to teach us is how to make whatever days He gives us matter (“number our days”). Because life is so fleeting, and we don’t know if we’ll have tomorrow, we need to help adults grasp hold of how God wants them to use each and every day.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Eph. 5:15-17)

Making Adult Ministry Intentional Provides a Good Example

To help adults live meaningful lives wherein they’re good stewards of their time and resources, numbering their days, we need to set a good example for them in our adult ministries. We can do that by …

  • making it worth their time to get involved.
  • investing into their lives in meaningful and helpful ways.

If we’re consuming their time with endless programs that do little to meet needs, how can we expect them to understand the concept of making their lives count for eternity?

Intentionally Implement Strategies to Meet Needs

To help adults make the most of every opportunity, we need to come alongside of them, where they are, with strategies that instruct and meet the needs of that phase of their lives. A broad stroke won’t effectively reach them. Adulthood comes with a wide spectrum of needs and issues that change through different seasons of their lives. Think about and take time to learn more about the various need differences based on the following. Even within each category you’ll find a wide range of differences.

age levels (young adults, middle-aged, elderly)

For Help: Adult Ministry Resources (click on ‘Age Level’ tab)

marital status (single, married, separated, divorced)

For Help: Adult Ministry Resources (click on ‘Marital Status’ tab)

parenting (not parents but want to be or can’t, two parents family or single parent, biological or adoptive, new to parenting versus already have children, grandparents, co-parenting and step-parenting, as well as parents of different ages … infants and toddlers, grade-schoolers, teenagers, adult children, or a combination of ages)

For Help: Biblical Parenting Resources

All these differences among adults in our midst doesn’t mean we have to develop a program or class for each and every variant but we do need to be sensitive to varying needs. While we might offer support groups, Bible studies, small groups, or seminars targeting specific issues, it’s not always necessary, especially on a permanent basis, if we …

  • encourage mentoring relationships with those have experienced similar life issues, which can be quite helpful and is also biblical (Titus 2:1-8).
  • exercise sensitivity in using illustrations in our teaching and preaching that we don’t always go in one direction (i.e., primarily using illustrations about married people or traditional families).
  • provide, or at least suggest, resources that target specific needs or issues (books, websites, online or printed articles, podcasts, DVDs, or other audio or video instruction, etc.).

An intentional approach in adult ministry will look at the time constraints, interests, and needs of people and plan the best approach to reach and teach.

Intentionality in Spurring Adults on in Serving the Lord

Since God says everybody has a part (Eph. 4:16), we need to implement strategies to encourage and equip them to be contributing members of the Body and their communities. No matter what the season of their lives, each person has something to contribute. All serving does not require excessive amounts of time and energy. All serving does not require physical stamina. All serving does not have to happen within the walls of the church.

Because people at different places, can’t expect every adult to serve in the same way or with the same amount of time. We must learn to be flexible and help them find their best fit for the season of life in which they find themselves. And, we must remember that seasons also change so we must be intentional in what we encourage them to do and not expect them to stay in it for life. When Hebrews 10:24 exhorts us to “consider how” to spur people on to love and good deeds, it’s just one more reminder of how we need to be intentional in adult ministry.


Make Adult Ministry Instructional


Goal to make Adult Ministry Instructional
In setting goals for adult ministries, think about the phrase “teach us to number our days” from Psalm 90:12 as a starting point. We need to make adult ministry instructional to ensure adults build their lives on a good foundation of truth so when the storms of life hit, they’ll be able to stand firm (Matt. 7:24-27).

It doesn’t matter if you serve adults new to faith in Jesus or long-time believers. We never stop learning. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)

The psalmist spoke the words “teach us” as a prayer to the Lord so it’s God’s instruction we need which comes from His Word. — All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness … (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Let’s not assume that just because we’re teaching or serving adults that we can ease up on the instructional aspect of ministry. It may be surprising just how many adults are Bible illiterate.

The Type of Instruction Adults Need

Adults need to know about the God we’re encouraging them to love and serve (Matt. 22:37-40). Always remember, however, that it must never end with merely knowing about God but rather knowing Him in a personal and intimate way.

For Help: Theology Resources

They need to learn about spiritual disciplines that lead to spiritual growth (2 Pet. 3:18). Structure nurturing opportunities into your ministries but also encourage them to make personal time with the Lord a priority. The busier we become with life’s responsibilities, the easier it can become to spend less and less time sitting at the Lord’s feet listening to what He has to say. Help adults understand that it’s a choice to make time with the Lord a priority. Read Luke 10:38-42.

For Help: Spiritual Growth Resources

And, adults need to be prepared to answer those who ask them to give the reason for their hope (1 Pet. 3:15). How will they be secure in their faith when confronted with other worldviews or religions? How will they help others come to faith in Jesus if they don’t know why they believe what they believe?

For Help: Apologetics Resources

Yet, Psalm 90:12 takes us beyond head knowledge to gaining “a heart of wisdom”. Basically, wisdom is knowledge applied to life. For our adult ministries to truly meet this goal, we need to help adults understand the difference these truths will make in navigating life as a single or married person, in child-rearing or grandparenting, in the workplace, or with friends, neighbors, and family.

How to Make Adult Ministry Instructional

Whet their appetite for more by the way you approach the instructional aspect of adult ministries. Make it interesting by employing creative methodology but most of all, make it relevant. Mere dissemination of facts will have minimal effect.

Show them how God’s Word thoroughly equips them (2 Tim. 3:16-17) to navigate life, no matter how difficult it becomes. Do that through personal testimonies, illustrations, video clips, and other means.

Help them process the truths they’re learning, by incorporating plenty of discussion time and by being available for one-on-one as needed. Get beyond one-way communication.

Foster discipleship and mentoring relationships. Be concerned about the individual, not just the masses, like Jesus. A “one-size-fits-all” approach in the instructional aspect of adult ministry will not reach all.

For More: Teacher Training for Teachers of Adults Bible Classes


What About Goals for Adult Ministries?


The words of Psalm 90:12 becomes more and more relevant as we get older. While it certainly relates to us as individuals, perhaps we can also pull out some goals for adult ministries.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Back up a couple of verses and we find the relevance of this verse for us as adults. — Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. (Ps. 90:10)

In light of how difficult life can be and how fleeting it may seem, we need to make the best of the time we have. That will happen, as seen through a reading of the entire Psalm, by acknowledging God as the all-powerful, always existing God in whose unfailing love we find satisfaction and joy no matter what we experience in life.

Goals for Adult Ministries Derived from Psalm 90:12

Goals of Adult MinistriesWe can find at least three goals in Psalm 90:12 adults need to apply to their lives. It only makes sense, that we can turn these points into goals for adult ministries in our churches. (Click on the links below to read more about each goal.)

1) Adult ministry needs to be instructional. — “Teach us …”

2) Be intentional. — “Teach us to number our days … “

3) Look for an internal impact. — “… that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Also Check Out: Adult Ministry Resources


What About Training for Adult Ministries?


Adult MinistriesHave you ever noticed the low volume of training resources for adult ministries compared to what’s available for children and youth ministries? While the number of resources does increase when searching by age grouping, gender, and marital status, you’ll find relatively few resources for adult ministry in general.

Why isn’t more emphasis placed on training for adult ministry?

Adult ministries are important and, therefore, so should training be for it.

God Himself lays the foundation for why adult ministry is important:

Jesus, in His earthly ministry, welcomed children to Himself but primarily ministered to adults.

The Bible, though relevant to children, is written in language geared to adults with concepts difficult to understand.

God has given parents the main responsibility of nurturing children (Deut. 6:4-9; Eph. 6:4) so helping them grow in their walk with God will flow into the training of children. Even adults without children serve as role models for younger generations (Matt. 18:5-6).

If adults walk away from the Church, and more specifically from a growing relationship with the Lord, what will become of the next generation (Ps. 78:4)?

Adequately train adult ministry leaders and teachers so they more effectively disciple and meet the needs of those they serve.

Think about the difference it makes in adult ministries when the following questions can be answered affirmatively:

  1. Do we build the kind of atmosphere most conducive to adult ministry?
  1. Do we know how to break through the walls many adults have built?
  1. Do we adequately address the responsibilities and issues adults deal with as they journey from young adulthood to senior adulthood?
  1. Do we present a God big enough to meet the demands and crises of life?
  1. Do we adapt to the changing landscape of life adults face today, knowing what needs to change and what stays the same?