“Mr. Caruso died and went to Florida!” my three-year-old grandson, Ben, said one day. I am sure that every grandfather has heard funny sayings from his grandchildren, but that day something changed for me. Passing on the torch of faith to Ben (and all my grandchildren) became a priority. I wanted to help Ben nurture his faith and leave a lasting impact on his life.
My journey began with a simple step – spending quality time together. I found opportunities to connect with him on a deeper level by engaging in meaningful conversations, asking about his dreams, and listening attentively to his concerns.
When Ben turned twelve, I sought guidance from our church’s youth pastor as to the best path forward. He suggested a book called Biblical Foundations for Building Strong Disciples. This book became the cornerstone of a discipleship process with Ben and answered my prayer for how to help him grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God.
With the book in tow, I invited Ben to embark with me on a shared journey of discovery and growth. I emphasized that each time we met, we would enjoy fun activities together while also investing some time in our spiritual growth.
After two years of studying and discussing the foundational truths of Christianity, Ben made a faith profession of his own. Throughout our journey together, he also discovered many truths about good decision-making. He learned that the Bible may not provide specific answers to every situation, but it imparts wisdom and principles that can guide his choices. He began to understand the importance of memorizing Scriptures like Proverbs 3:5-6 and Colossians 1:10. Ultimately, he learned the purpose of life is to be a Christ ambassador.
Upon completing the book, Ben and I continued our journey for another four years. This became a time of growing towards maturity in Christ. We went through a discipleship course called Operation Timothy from Christian Business Men’s Connection. Just before Ben began his college years, I joyfully presented him with a certificate of completion and gave him the charge from CBMC: Be an ambassador for Christ in his marketplace!
This faith journey with Ben paved the way for me to do the same with my other grandchildren as well. I am convinced that by investing in our grandchildren’s spiritual growth, we equip them to face the challenges of the world with unwavering faith and a deep-rooted relationship with Christ.
This article is excerpted from Grandly, copyright © 2023 Grandly Missions, Inc. Grandly has launched an online seminar for grandparents who are seeking to pass on their faith to their grandchildren more effectively. To learn more or to register for the seminar visit https://grandly.org/doitgrandly/.
Bob Sutter and his wife, Cathy, have 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, and are members of South Church in Lansing, Michigan, USA.