Pastor Larry McCall released his new book about grandparenting. Photo Provided.
Pastor Larry McCall released his new book about grandparenting. Photo Provided.
A Winona Lake pastor has written a book geared toward grandparents.

“Grandparenting with Grace: Living the Gospel with the Next Generation” is written by Pastor Larry McCall of Christ’s Covenant Church of Winona Lake. It was released by New Growth Press in August.

“There are about 30 million grandparents in North America who claim to be Christian and a recent survey shows less than 1% of that 30 million have received any training at all in grandparenting. And of that 1%, even fewer have received any training from the Bible on how to be a grandparent,” McCall said. “So this book is a guidebook showing my fellow grandparents how to live out the Gospel with our kids and grandkids in very practical ways.”

If someone looks for books online on Amazon, “you’re going to find tons of books on marriage, tons of books for parents and almost none for grandparents,” he said. Grandparents are a very rapidly growing demographic, but the problem is, they’re not getting training.

“This book is trying to help get grandparents get into the word of God, get into the Bible, to see what does God’s word say about grandparenting,” he said.

McCall said in his book, he presents that “grandparenting is actually a ministry by God. If you do a search for grandparent on your Bible app, you’re only going to get a couple hits. But if you look at passages for sons’ sons, coming generations, you’re going to get a lot of hits, going clear back to the days of Moses. Grandparents have been commissioned to impact the coming generations with the message of God.”

McCall wrote the book because there was a “huge void.”

A couple years ago, he and his wife taught a course on grandparenting. While they love being grandparents, no one taught them how to be grandparents. During the course, about 80% of the grandparents in his church attended. It showed him that there were a lot of grandparents that wanted to know what God’s word says about grandparenting, McCall said. In preparing for the class, he did some research and found only a handful of books that were written on grandparenting from biblical perspectives, McCall said. He said he realized there was a great need.

As far as training means, he referenced one of the first five books of the Bible, which were all written by Moses – Deuteronomy.

“In Deuteronomy, Moses said to the children of Israel, he said, ‘Don’t forget what you’ve seen about God. Don’t forget. Tell that to your sons and your sons’ sons. And so, that’s clearly missed. But there is a clear implication there that grandparents are commissioned from God himself to impact not just their kids, but their grandkids with the word of God.”

McCall thinks the mission of grandparenting is for grandparents to teach their grandchildren to set their hopes in God.

There’s a lot on intentionality in the book. He said to have fun with your grandkids, but also have a purposeful side to the relationship by talking about life, eternity, God and their own souls. There’s also chapters on how to pray for your grandchildren and how to deal with issues you encounter in culture.

One issue that is being dealt with now is the coronavirus, he said. There is a chapter about long-distance grandparenting. With the coronavirus, even grandparents that are not geographically far from their grandchildren can’t see them. Other issues the book deals with include such things as divorce in the family.

Before the Industrial Revolution, McCall said most people lived on farms and there was daily interactions between the generations. “There’s been a progression, I’d even say a regression, in the past 150 years where families are much more isolated generationally. There is a generational isolation that has separated grandparents from interactions with their grandchildren on a regular basis. There are exceptions to that. I mean there are people that live in a community generationally. By in large, and our culture, there’s not a whole lot of serious interaction with the older generation and the youngest.”

He says he would love to see that change. “If grandparents are intentional in our culture, they can have regular interaction with their grandkids, even if they live on the other side of the world.”

McCall says he has grandkids who live in another state and his wife and him have a scheduled Zoom call with them every week. “And part of that is talking to them about the Bible. We’re doing Bible studies with the kids that are old enough to read. We talk with them about issues on their heart. We pray with them. So even though we don’t see them face to face all the time, there is an intentionality and connectivity generationally for God’s glory and their good,” he said.

“It’s a guidebook,” he said. “It’s a guidebook on how to be a grandparent in our culture and our society.”

McCall said he hopes people get out of the book that grandparenting is more than spoiling the grandkids and sending them home to their parents. He hopes people read the book and realize that they never thought of grandparenting in the way he is presenting.

“Grandparenting with Grace: Living the Gospel with the Next Generation” is available on Amazon, Christian book distributers and New Growth Press’ website newgrowthpress.com. On Amazon, the book is priced at $15.99. The publisher’s website offers it at $13.60. It is also available as an audiobook.