Only take heed to yourself, … lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, … And teach them to your children and your grandchildren… Deuteronomy 4:9 (NKJV)
Seventy years ago Billy Graham entered the world stage as a Christian evangelist to reach the lost. A decade later Youth For Christ became a massive movement of young people being trained in principles of Biblical lifestyles. In the 1980s Bill Gothard advanced the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts to rallies of tens of thousands across the USA. Another decade passed and Promise Keepers became the venue in stadiums all around the country to encourage godliness and racial reconciliation among American men.
In this decade The Legacy Coalition is coming in as the next evangelical wave to promote Intentional Christian Grandparenting. An AARP report on grandparents described grandparenting in the USA:
- About one-third of all adults are grandparents.
- The average age of becoming a grandparent is around 47.
- The average age of grandparents is around 64. (note: average age of death in the USA continues to rise, now almost 74)
- The average grandparent has six grandchildren.
- About 77% of grandparents are married.
- About half are still working.
- A slight majority, 54%, have at least some college education.
- About 6% of grandparents have a grandchild living in their home.
- Parents are not present in around 43% of those homes, a phenomenon known as a skip-generation family.
- About 15% provide regular childcare for grandchildren in their homes.
- More than half of grandparents help with grandchildren’s educational expenses.
- A quarter of grandparents help pay for medical or dental care for their grandchildren.
- More than half of all grandparents believe they play a very important role in their grandchildren’s lives.
Founded in 2016 by Larry Fowler, author of Overcoming Grandparenting Barriers, the vision of The Legacy Coalition is for grandparents to be more than the babysitters and the “fun old people” in children’s lives. Instead, he advocates training this elder generation to be purposeful in guiding the spiritual development up to the third and fourth generations after them.
Last week a friend of mine showed a picture of a great-great-grandmother with her daughter, her granddaughter, her great-grandson (my friend) and his baby. While few of us will live to be 103 as this woman has, most of us will live to see our grandchildren. The goal of The Legacy Coalition is to promote teaching Biblical living to the second generation after yourself and to envision the third and fourth generation, to prepare your kids and your grandkids to teach their grandchildren.
To that end The Legacy Coalition has grown from its first days into an international outreach to thousands of grandparents from many walks of life with strategies for every stage of grandparenting. Their website includes many free resources such as blogs, podcasts and recorded radio programs. Under Events, there is also a link to the free registration for Grand Monday Nights, a weekly webinar platform featuring many different speakers addressing a variety of topics affecting relationships of grandparents to their children and grandchildren. Other courses, speakers and materials are available for reasonable charges.
October 19-20, 2023, Tony Evans’ Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas will host the live Legacy Coalition Summit, which can be livestreamed anywhere in the world. Fees and instructions are here and the list of speakers and sites for simulcasting will be updated as the dates approach, but a couple of speakers are already on board with more to be announced soon. For a preview of the quality of presenters they invite, just look at the list of participants for 2022! These included Ann Graham Lotz, Arlene Pellicane, Crawford Loritts and Gordon MacDonald among other evangelical teachers.
You can get on their email list for updates individually or as a church organization here. There will be a no-obligation host-site informational Zoom meeting on February 9, 2023, for anyone interested in hosting, even if you are not the decision maker for your church. Simply enter your information on the Get Host Info button and they will contact you about the Zoom.
In any case, if you have grandchildren, are about to become a grandparent, or if you have children whom you want to raise to be godly parents, consider contacting The Legacy Coalition via a field representative (such as Brent Nelson for the southeast US [866-461-0197]) or the national organization via their website. Internationally, The Legacy Coalition has already begun work in Australia, Dominican Republic, Greece, Spain, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan. Perhaps YOU can be the first in your city or your nation to connect to the next wave of spreading the gospel to every generation!
Here is a sample of the promotional video from 2022: