– The Strategic Grandparents
by Michael Shaughnessy
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?
GRANDLY (adverb) “In
a manner that attracts admiration
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.
The Youth Culture Newsletter interviews Mike
Shaughnessy, who began, and Pili Galvan, who
directs Grandly – the Strategic Grandparents
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?”
strategic grandparents club… Strategic in
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?
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
I am a Kairos youth worker. I work
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?
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
Pili, you are designing the website. What
will it be like?
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?
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 email@example.com.
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.
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: www.grandly.org
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