There is a grandmother in the New Testament, Lois, who easily could have taken the “give-up approach” with her grandson, Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5). She could have said, “The Romans run the world. They are pagans. Caesar is a tyrant, a terrible ruler. Our children are being deluded. The faith of our fathers is being lost. They don’t keep the feasts. Moses is getting rebranded. No one knows the Ten Commandments anymore, and our priests are all self-centered, two-faced, and sanctimonious. Why bother anyway?” She could have totally given up. She had at least as many reasons as we do. However, she didn’t give up… and neither should we.
Who was this woman? We don’t know a lot about her, but we can make some pretty good guesses.
Her grandson, Timothy, was the recipient of two of the New Testament letters from the Apostle Paul, his mentor and father in the faith. The second letter, where Lois is mentioned by name, was probably written shortly before Paul was put to death in the mid-sixties. Timothy was a young leader at that time who was discipled in the faith by his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. This would indicate that Lois was among the first generation of disciples, probably a little older than Paul.
Regardless of her background, she was a key player in her grandson’s life. She was the right person, at the right time, in the right role. Like many in the early church, she knew the scriptures — what we call the Old Testament — and taught them to Timothy. Much of what the early church believed was how the whole of the Old Testament pointed to a Messiah and that Messiah was Jesus.
Lois is a perfect example for today’s grandparents to emulate.The times we live in may be stressful, bleak, discouraging, and even frightening. Despite our circumstances, we are tasked with accomplishing a mission just as Lois was. She was called to pass on her faith without getting distracted by the difficulties happening in the world around her. She kept her focus on her purpose and did the right thing. That is exactly what we need to do!
Copyright © 2021 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club
Michael Shaughnessy is the founder of Grandly. His most recent book, The Strategic Grandparent, is available at The Word Among Us and Amazon.
About Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club
Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club is a program of the Sword of the Spirit. This program was founded in 2016 by Mike Shaughnessy as a resource to equip grandparents to share their faith with their grandchildren. Grandly teaches grandparents to “Think, Pray, and Act Strategically” in the lives of their grandkids. It recognizes that grandparents occupy a special role in the lives of their grandchildren, and if properly trained, can make an outsized impact on their spiritual lives.
As a youth minister, Mike knew the difference grandparents could make in the lives of their grandchildren. He wondered if it could happen more often. It wasn’t that they lacked the faith. What they lacked was a strategy. If grandparents learned how to think, pray, and act strategically, the way youth workers did, something marvelous would happen. It has. Strategic grandparents have become missionaries to their own grandchildren.
We equip grandparents to be “youth workers” to their own grandchildren. When we ask grandparents, “What is your biggest concern?” Most answer “our grandchildren,” not their retirement or the next vacation. Many see that their grandchildren are not getting the spiritual and moral formation they need, and feel equally unable to address that need. We currently equip grandparents to be youth workers through two venues: our website (grandly.org) and our “Do It Grandly” Seminars.
Our website reaches a network of grandparents who are interested in learning how to think, pray, and act strategically. We publish bi-weekly online articles that provide encouragement, motivation, and practical tools on how to pass on their faith to grandchildren. Through our “Do It Grandly” seminars, we help grandparents to grow in their relational skills while providing insight into contemporary youth culture, giving them valuable tools for building impactful, Christ-centered relationships with their grandchildren. These seminars provide a way for Sword of the Spirit grandparents to re-enter internal (their own grandchildren) and external (their own peers) mission
For access to inspirational articles, sign up for a free membership at www.grandly.org.
Interested in hosting a seminar in your local community or learning more? Please email Pili Galvan Abouchaar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Shaughnessy is a lifelong member of the Servants of the Word, an international ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He is a prolific writer. He has written extensively about youth work and currently leads Grandly, a ministry helping grandparents pass on their faith to their grandchildren. He lives in Lansing, Michigan USA.
1 thought on “Bad Times”
You write that “Timothy was a leader…” as most people of faith would also write. But as much as I know that I am what some would call a “contrarian,” I believe that the word “LEADER” should be abandoned when we we speak of those to whom we apply the term. I believe that we should use terms such as “Christian/ Spiritual Servant” or “Christian/ Spiritual Guide.” However, I have yet to find anyone on any Christian website that agrees with me, but I have grown used to it!