Last night (Friday) and this morning (Saturday) I sat under the feet of Leon B. Sanderson–the son of L. O. Sanderson and Associate Minister at the White Station Church of Christ in Memphis Tennesse–who conducted a seminar on Maximum Grandparenting at the Woodmont Hills Family of God in Nashville, Tennessee. I enjoyed every aspect of this learning experience–from Leon’s lectures to the discussions at my table. I would recommend the seminar for any congregation with grandparents who want guidance and encouragement.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Leon who was named Alumnus of the Year of the Harding Graduate School of Religion this month. Leon is a godly man whose wisdom and experience is rich with Scripture and authenic relationships. While Leon was a student of mine in a few classes at the Graduate School, he has taught me much more with his life-long interest in people. Now I have also experienced his kindness, wisdom and insight into grandparenting.
He reminded us that grandparents may fill the role of “remembering” within a family. They remember the story of the family, but they also remember the story of God. They are the intergenerational witness to the mighty acts of God and connect the coming generations with the faith of their fathers and mothers. They remember and tell the story.
Psalm 71:18 — So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Psalm 78:1-7 — Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
The goal of grandparenting is to participate in God’s maturing and forming of the next generation. They do this without lectures or shaming but with living and story-telling. They are God’s light to the path of the next generation.
Thanks, Leon, for a wonderful experience. I needed that reminder as I am the grandparent of one….so far.