December 2016 /January 2017 - Vol. 89

 Grandly - Think - Pray - Act
Grandly – The Strategic Grandparents Club
by Michael Shaughnessy

Kairos is launching a program for a whole new set of youth workers. They are already in position and eager to awaken faith in God among young people. Who are they? Grandparents.

GRANDLY (adverb) “In a manner that attracts admiration and attention.”
Cambridge English Dictionary

Grandly The Strategic Grandparents Club is a new intiative from Kairos that hopes to equip grandparents to think, pray, and act strategically. Grandparents can have a profound impact on their grandchildren.

How It Began!

The Youth Culture Newsletter interviews Mike Shaughnessy, who began, and Pili Galvan, who directs Grandly – the Strategic Grandparents Club.

Grandly logo

KYCN: How did the idea of the strategic grandparents club come into being?

Mike: Some of my friends are grandfathers. One told me about a gift he gave to his granddaughter. It was a recording of a children’s Bible. She loves listening to it. The other grandfather mentioned in passing that his grandson’s birthday was coming up the next day. He planned on getting him a card and giving him some money, as usual. Both of them love their grandchildren but only one of them thinks strategically about what to do. “What if,” I thought, “we set up a network of grandparents who could help each other to be strategic in promoting the spiritual welfare of their grandchildren?”

KYCN: A strategic grandparents club… Strategic in what ways?

Mike: Let’s start with the most fundamental – how to pray. A grandmother I know has pictures of each of her grandchildren on her hallway wall. Under each picture is a Post-It note with two precisely stated prayer intentions. She prays her way down the hall every morning. She has a method and is motivated. We hope to equip other grandparents to find similar ways to pray more effectively.

KYCN: How else can grandparents be strategic?

Mike: Financially. Grandparents give gifts. At our website they can get ideas on things like good Christmas gifts to give to a twelve-year-old girl. Or they may read a testimony about a mission trip and be inspired to send their grandson on something similar.

Madeline's story

Madeline’s Story

I am a Kairos youth worker. I w
ork with high school girls.

In my junior year of high school my grandmother invited me to come to church with her. I was intrigued but not enough to go on my own. (My family never went to church.) Still, every time I visited her, which happened often once I was old enough to drive, we went to church.

When I went to university I met new friends who went to church, but more than that, they really knew the Lord personally. I started going to church with them. They asked me to go on a retreat. I did. I met the Lord and within a year I was baptized and pretty much immediately began doing youth work.

For me, like Timothy in the bible, my faith originated with my grandmother.

KYCN: What else can grandparents expect to receive from Grandly?

Mike: Hope! Most grandparents simply need hope. They are dispirited by the postmodern world and its effects on their grandchildren. That’s no surprise. What will give them hope? Hearing inspiring stories from other grandparents about what has worked for them. We want to help grandparents to be motivated, hopeful, and full of faith. God has given them a unique role, we want to equip them to do it GRANDLY!

KYCN: Pili, you are designing the website. What will it be like?

Pili: Useful! We are designing a tool that will allow grandparents to search for good ideas, to learn about youth culture, to read inspiring testimonies, and to make use of the new ways of communicating with their grandchildren. It will have an easy way to get our latest posts and to submit ideas that will help grandparents help grandparents.

KYCN: Do you need help with the project?

Pili: Absolutely! We need people to transcribe articles. We need trained copy-editors and capable writers. People can offer to do that now by emailing me at

KYCN: How are you promoting Grandly?

Pili: We are starting with people we know and asking them to promote Grandly to people they think might be interested. We are using a Facebook page to get the word out as well. Soon we will have a package for those who want to be our “promoters.” It will equip people to put on a seminar for their own congregation or parish.

KYCN: Obviously, this needs some financial support. How much do you need and how are you getting that?

Pili: For this year we need $50,000 and we are hoping to raise that in donations. We have just started a crowdfunding campaign. If you go here: you can donate 

To sign up for Grandly – the Strategic Grandparents Club, go here:

Kairos is an international federation of outreaches to high school, university and post university aged people sponsored by the Sword of the Spirit. This interview first appeared in the Kairos Youth Culture Newsletter.
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