Grandparenting: What’s It Really All About?

Grandparents are disciples. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of…

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Deborah Haddix

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Grandparents are disciples.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

Matthew 28:18-20

According to Matthew 28, grandparents are to make disciples of Jesus Christ, and these disciples are to love God, love others, and teach future generations to do the same. Making disciples is our mission!

A disciple is a learner whose goal is to become like Jesus. – Josh Mulvihill


Briefly defined discipleship is the term used for the process of coming to faith in Jesus Christ and growing in spiritual maturity as His follower. It’s the process by which a person who has received new life in Christ takes on the character of Jesus and commits to living in obedience to the commands of God.

Over and over in the Gospels, we see Jesus using two words to define discipleship: “Follow me.”

Our primary goal in discipleship is to replicate Jesus’ way of life, and we do that by imitating Him.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1

Grandparents are disciple makers.

Making Disciples

The question before us then is, “How do we help our grandchildren become learners whose goal is to become like Jesus?”

There are actually several strategies, or tools, we can employ in the process of discipling our grandchildren.

Discipleship Strategies

Ask Questions

Become skilled at the art of asking good questions that lead to conversation. Through your use of good questions build relationship, discover what your grandchild believes, and create spiritual dialogue.


Be intentional about connecting with your grandchild – face-to-face when possible, but by whatever means available if not – with the goal of building a strong, healthy relationship.

Gather & Influence

Initiate family gathers and make the most of your time together. Family vacations, holidays, grandparent or cousin camps, and weekly dinners are all wonderful ways for gathering and influencing.

Give a Blessing

Be purposeful about imparting biblically defined blessings to your grandchildren, both written and oral. The giving of a blessing provides opportunity for grandparents to share their deep affection and desired future for a grandchild.

Leave a Legacy

  • Modeling – Your life is a powerful example and an invitation to your grandchildren to imitate you as you imitate Christ. Watch yourself very carefully (Deuteronomy 4:15), every choice you make sends a message to your grandchildren about what you believe. Be worth imitating. Model Christlike characteristics.
  • Storytelling -In Psalm 78, God instructs older generations to tell younger generations (grandchildren) the work of God and the nature of God. Learn to tell God-stories – stories of God’s mighty deeds recorded in the Bible, stories of God’s personal work in your life and the life of your family.
  • Observing Traditions – A tradition is a planned significant habit that is handed down from one generation to another by word of mouth and by regular repetition of example, ceremony, or celebration. Traditions help us look backward to be reminded of God’s work in our family. The creator of traditions (Colossians 1:16), God gifted them to us (James 1:17).

Light the Way

Teaching and mentoring are key strategies for discipleship. Read the Bible together, talk about what you are learning, make space for the hard questions. Be diligent about teaching the big picture of the Bible, its core truths, and its doctrine.


Prayer is a wonderful gift given to us by our loving Heavenly Father. It’s a gift that blesses us (the grandparents) and our grandchildren. Prayer is also a weapon, our first line of defense in spiritual warfare. Both a gift and a weapon, prayer is an essential when it comes to reaching and discipling our grandchildren.

Grandparent, we have received a spiritual heritage that God commissions us to pass to our grandchildren. He has also provided us with many means for carrying out our task. Which of these disciple making strategies strikes a chord with you? How will you implement it in your discipling this week?

Disciple making, that’s what it’s all about!



  • […] their disciple-making efforts, grandparents ask good conversation-starting questions, bestow blessings, and invest […]

  • Lisa notes...

    I’ve spent a lot of time grandparenting this week. It’s worn me out but I love it. ???? Thanks for this reminder to be intentional with our time. We’re not here for them just to be fun companions but also to be making a difference in their spiritual lives.

  • I have used all these with my 10 grandchildren at different stages & ages some respond to them better then others. But modeling, connection & prayer always remain! Great post!

    You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer,
    Bless you,

  • Jerry Christiamsen

    I just turned 79 on Dec.31st and retired from Pastor/Teacher after ministering in several Christian venues. YFC, CEF, SS, coffee house ministry and Shepherding 3 Church Fellowships(Wi.and Germany)
    Joan and I raised 2 wonderful , believing Sons who follow The Lord with their whole heart.
    The thing is this and many of friends our age may identify with me.
    We tend to think that we are of little or no importance or relevance anymore. Churches don’t think that we can relate and have left us as baggage along the road.
    Let me gently call our attention to a Truth that helps us older believers accept and handle our
    Our Worth is not found in what we can do, nor in our talents or personality or contribution to society nor Church.
    Beloved, out worth is solely found in our relation to The Lord Jesus Christ. We belong to God in Christ..We have worth because God Loved us so much that He sent His Son to Redeem us by His shed blood.
    Yes, shelf-life is for the birds but one day we shall fly away. Meantime God can and will use us…even as a friend and that is a great place to be.
    As I have been feeling a little down, I found a birthday card from one of our Granddaughters
    which brought joy and gladness to my heart and I share it with you.
    “Happy Birthday Papa,
    Hope this year is a great one for you!
    I feel so blessed to have you as my grandpa, thank you for teaching me by example how to love our Heavenly Father!”
    What gives me a sence of worth is that spiritual investment that The Holy Spirit has
    woven through me into others.
    Thank You Lord! All Glory, Honor, and Praise, are due unto You.
    I hope that you can and will continue to use me
    Lord. Grandparents, if all we can do is to PRAY, that is the very best that we can do.

  • Your post makes me think of the book “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s a good one! I never thought of how being a grandma is like being a disciple, but now I see that it’s true! I hope my grandchildren can see God’s love reflected in my heart.

  • I know how much my grandchildren love to come to Bam’s house. That focused time and attention is a foundation for all kinds of good conversation and reinforcement of the good training they are getting at home.
    Thanks for all the ways you encourage us!

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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