National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Wanted: the grandparents of our church

September 2013

by Serena Williams

All generations of our church must come together to face the same challenge the Israelites faced when they crossed the River Jordan into the land of milk and honey, the first national Grow Ministries conference heard.

Keynote speaker Rev Greg Priebbenow told participants that the church is in danger of losing our faith-stories—and our children with them—in our land of milk, honey, internet and Sunday trading.

Grow Ministries is the new identity of the Lutheran Church of Australia’s Board for Child, Youth & Family Ministry, which gathered delegates from around Australia in Brisbane early in September. Rev Priebbenow had participants read and meditate on Deuteronomy 6, with its detailed instructions on how to pass on the faith.

Research shows that each young person should have five non-parent adults as faith role models in their life

‘We need to get back to the way God instructed the Israelites to pass on the faith, through multi-generational festivals of remembrance, and by sharing and being witnesses together’, Rev Priebbenow said.

‘When Jesus went to the temple as a twelve-year-old boy, he didn’t just go by himself. He went with his parents, and the whole family and village. It was a festival, an adventure. We need to make faith-life more of an adventure.

‘The church needs to apologise for saying to parents, “send your children to us and we’ll take care of the God stuff”’, Rev Priebbenow said. ‘We’ve got to help the parents make their homes… Subscribe and read the full article