Grandparenting Ministry: A Movement of God

written by Sherry Schumann
2 · 06 · 23

A movement is underfoot. Christian grandparents around the world are awakening to the realization that God has given us a specific purpose for this season of life. At the heart of this movement is a man named Cavin Harper. 

Who is Cavin Harper?

A graduate of Baylor University and Denver Seminary, Cavin served as an associate pastor in Denver, CO for seventeen years. He and Diane, his bride of nearly fifty-four years, have two daughters and nine grandchildren. They currently live in Colorado Springs. 

Cavin’s life changed in June 1997, the day his first grandchild was born. While cradling Thomas, who was only a few hours old, Cavin experienced something “more than an age awakening or the blessing of witnessing a new generation arrive on the scene.” 

What was this awakening? It was the realization that we as grandparents are called to pass down our faith to our children and grandchildren, lest they become like Jacob’s stiff-necked grandchildren “who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10). As a result of this revelation, Cavin formed Elderquest Ministries, which was later renamed Christian Grandparenting Network. 

Grand Camps

A year after Thomas’ birth, Cavin and Diane developed and established the first GrandCamp at facilities in the beautiful Rocky Mountains surrounding Pikes Peak. For those of you who are unfamiliar with GrandCamp, it’s a five-day, faith-filled adventure that affords grandparents the opportunity to build strong relationships, create lasting memories, study God’s Word, and share the love of Christ with their grandchildren. 

There are currently five GrandCamps in the United States and two in Canada. In 2017, Christian Grandparenting Network introduced the Grand Day Out format for churches. This one-day program provides a powerful introduction to the GrandCamp experience through the local church.

G@P Groups

Recognizing the need for grandparents to pray for their grandchildren, Cavin invited Lillian Penner to join his staff in 2007. With Cavin’s blessing, Lillian initiated Grandparents @ Prayer groups (affectionately known as G@P) around the world. These groups of two or more grandparents meet on a regular basis to pray for their children and grandchildren. 

Lillian and Cavin also established the second Sunday in September, as a day for grandparents to intercede on behalf of their loved ones. This day, which is called Grandparents Day of Prayer, coincides with National Grandparents Day.

Closing Thoughts

As the CEO of Christian Grandparenting Network for nearly twenty-five years, Cavin laid the groundwork for the grandparent ministries that exist today and is rightfully known as the “Grandfather of Grandparenting Ministries.” A nationally recognized speaker and author of three books (Not On Our Watch, Courageous Grandparenting, and Raising Your Grandkids), he faithfully encourages grandparents to “proclaim God’s might to another generation and his power to all those to come” (Psalm 71:8, paraphrased). He exemplifies the phrase, “Don’t retire…REFIRE.”

Facts don’t cover the essence of a man; therefore, I won’t give you anymore biographical information about Cavin. Instead, I want to share with you what he hopes to accomplish in his lifetime. I found this list in the preface of his book, Courageous Grandparenting:

  1. I want to live as courageously and intentionally as I can so that (our grandchildren) will understand the Gospel and choose to walk in the truth.
  2. I don’t want to be found guilty of trivializing or neglecting my responsibility as a “Keeper of the Spring.”
  3. I don’t want to be a barn-builder; I want to be a legacy-builder—the kind of legacy my grandkids will want to embrace and will outlive me for generations after me. 
  4. I want them to see the glory, the goodness, the grace, and the greatness of God in me, and I want them to want it for themselves.

For these reasons and so much more, Christian Grandparenting Network is thrilled to WELCOME back Cavin Harper, our President Emeritus, after a two-year sabbatical. He brings tremendous vision, experience and passion to our ministry. We are blessed to have him back as our Chief Operations Officer. Welcome back, Cavin!

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Sherry Schumann


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  1. Kathie Schiedel

    Wonderful and well written article for a great man (and his wife) and their God-given vision for intentional Christian Grandparents.

  2. Sherry Schumann

    We definitely agree!

  3. Jim & Gwen Colfer

    Thrilled that the very best “Professor of Intentional Grandparenting” is back on board! Everything that we have learned about IG, we have learned from Cavin over the past 14 years!! He is the best!It was our distinct honor and privilege to be his co-authors on the “GrandCamp Field Guide” book!


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