Hello! Dianne here. Renee and I are glad you’ve stopped by our Grandparenting through Obstacles blog.

A couple years ago I received a phone call from my friend and fellow writer, Renee. She told me she had discovered that there were precious few resources for grandparents who wanted to reach their grandkids with their Christian faith. It seems there are lots of resources and books about grandparenting in general with oodles of ideas for fun things to do with your grandkids. But what if just having fun isn’t your goal? What if you want something deeper, more lasting, even eternal? What if you’re wanting to share your knowledge and understanding of God with your grandkids?

And what if the sailing isn’t so smooth? What if there are obstacles and roadblocks? What if you live a long distance away? Or what if your grandkids’ parent(s) aren’t walking with God themselves and might object to your sharing Christ? What if you’re facing an unending list of special circumstances? Where are the helpful resources for that?

Renee noticed there were few resources for grandparents in these situations, and she wanted to create help and hope. She asked me to join her in this effort. And so the seed of an idea for a book took root.

The interesting thing is, neither Renee nor I are grandparents! So what would we have to offer? We’re not experts in this area.

So we called in the experts!

We gathered twenty people who are experts because they are grandparents! Or they had a grandparent who was a great influence on them. And they shared their stories–and their unique circumstances, their struggles, how they handled their own situations, and what they learned.

In fact, we gathered so much wonderful information that it seemed natural to continue the conversation on a blog.  So here we are.

On our blog we want to open a conversation where we can all talk about the difficult issues grandparents experience when they want to influence their grandchildren for Christ. We’re planning interviews with the book’s contributors, we’ll share resources as we find them, we’re hoping for some guest posts from others who have great information to help Christian grandparents, and we hope you’ll join in the conversation.

Today, nearly one-third of all adults in the United States are grandparents.[i] But winning your grandchildren’s generation to Jesus is a bigger challenge than ever. Here’s a brief excerpt from the Introduction in the book:

The number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians is steadily declining with each generation. According to a 2007 Barna Group report, of those Americans 61 years of age and older, 77 percent identify themselves as Christian; of those 42 to 50 years old (many of whom are already grandparents), 73 percent do. But for younger generations of Americans (16 to 29 years old), only 60 percent identify themselves as Christians.[ii] Another study shows that, of this current generation of children born since 1984, only 4 percent say they regularly attend church and believe the Bible.[iii]  Because worldview is primarily shaped by the time children turn thirteen,[iv] teaching kids a Christian worldview early in their lives is critical to their spiritual formation.

Possibly the most troubling news is that more and more younger non-Christians perceive Christianity in a negative way.[v] Therefore, it’s likely that your grandchildren’s friends and classmates will only serve to undermine the spiritual values you’ve tried to impart to them. Receiving godly influence from their family will be an important step in your grandchildren’s spiritual growth.

So, how can you successfully influence your grandkids when faced with obstacles within your own family? That’s what this book is all about!

And I would add, that’s what this blog is all about!

Renee and I are glad you’ve joined us for this critical conversation. We’ll look forward to hearing from you through your comments on the blog. Please feel free to offer suggestions for other grandparents, resources you may know of, or ask a question.

Thank you for stopping by. We’re looking forward to having a conversation with you.

[i] eds., “Surprising Facts about Grandparents,” Grandparents.com, August 12, 2009, http://grandparents.com/gp/content/opinions/from-the-editors/article/surprising-facts-about-grandparents.html .

[ii] “A New Generation Expresses Its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity,” The Barna Update, August 24, 2007.

[iii] Thom S. Rainer, The Bridger Generation (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2006).

[iv] “Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years,” The Barna Update, March 6, 2009

[v] “A New Generation Expresses Its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity.