Grandfathering: Live to Leave a Legacy by Dr. Dan Erickson

Dr Dan Erickson Cropped“Grandfathering: Live to Leave  a Legacy” by Dr. Dan Erickson is now available directly from the author and from The book is based on Dan’s hands-on experience in being a grandfather seven times over. This is his third book, following “Finding Your Greater Yes!” and “God Loves Do-Overs.” Grandfathers and people who love them will discover that:

  • Grandfathers aren’t killing time baby-sitting: They’re leaving a legacy – for better or worse.
  • Impactful grandfathering takes time and energy, but it’s worth the reward.
  • By living purposefully, and with spiritual values, grandfathers can be champions for each of their grandchildren.

The book is available in hardcover from and directly from the author. There is a discount for bulk sales. Digital formats will follow.



Relational Secrets From a Grandfather to Everyone

By Dr. Dan Erickson

Shannon 065 (2)One good thing about aging is that, although we don’t gain speed and dexterity, we can gain wisdom. And that’s what I’d like to share with you in this blog post. These are not lessons from the ivory tower, but from the relational school of hard knocks, so to speak. These are principles that I elaborate on more fully in “Grandfathering: Live to Leave a Legacy.”

In every relationship:

  • We are leaving a legacy, for better or for worse.
  • We are making an investment, whether it’s cheap or costly.
  • Three A’s make all the difference: attention, affection and affirmation.

The legacy
Every day we leave a legacy in the lives of our children, spouse, grandchildren, employees and church family. We traditionally think of a legacy in financial terms — and that may be part of it. But the legacy that is of greatest value is the legacy of relationships.

You may not have a cent to leave anyone, but you have something of much greater value: love. So many people — even those in our own family — live in pain and isolation. What a blessing awaits them when we love.

It’s important to realize that the legacy we leave is not necessarily a good one. That all depends on us. We can leave a legacy of estrangement and detachment, or one of encouragement, intimacy and affection. Everyone can impact someone. And those closest to us should be first on our list.

The investment
Healthy relationships are costly. They do not happen by accident. They require energy, planning and sacrifice. But nothing could be of more value.

When we look at our lives and what really matters — especially when we’re in a time of crisis — relationships are what sustain us. God set the standard in all of our relationships by taking the initiative to invest in us without any expectation of reciprocation.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” — 1 John 3:16

Who is God calling you to invest in today?

Three A’s
Attention: How often does someone give you all their attention? And how often do you give someone all of your attention, really? Not much says “I value you” more than your full attention.

Affection: This is not merely physical touch, but an attitude of genuinely caring. It can’t be faked. Do you give affection to the people God has placed in your life?

Affirmation: It’s a dog-eat-dog world. No one can get too much affirmation! Yet we usually act like misers when it comes to sharing affirmation and wait until someone’s eulogy to share what they’ve meant to us. Affirm today, tomorrow and the next day! Your grandchildren, children, siblings and neighbors will never forget it.

Join us for a Grandfathering book launch party!

By Dr. Dan Erickson

stanley 2Everyone — and yes we mean — everyone, is invited to our “Grandfathering: Live to Leave a Legacy” launch party at The Stanley Event Center in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

When Grandparents Day, Sunday, Sept. 7, 6-8 p.m.

Where The Stanley events center, 25 Southeast 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063

Who You!

We’ll be excited to visit with you personally. We’ll also have books available for the grandfathers in your lives.

Who Are Grandfathers?

By Dr. Dan Erickson

Courtesy of Mark Evans, Flickr Creative Commons License

Courtesy of Mark Evans, Flickr Creative Commons License

Grandfathers are younger than ever before.

  • 43% became grandfathers in their fifties, 37% in their forties, with the average age of in this country at 48. (Getting younger)

Grandfathers have financial resources.

  • They control 75% of the wealth in this country.
  • They have the highest average net worth of any other age group ($254,000).
  • They earn the highest average income.
  • They spend $2 trillion every year on consumer goods and services.

Grandfathers are up to date.

  • 75% are online
  • 70% use search engines to find information
  • 63% shop online
  • 30% instant message
  • 56% share photos online
  • 46% bank online
  • 45% are on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo! Groups

From a granddaughter’s heart: Grandfathers matter more than ever

By Gabby Brotherton, Guest Blogger
Dan’s oldest granddaughter

Erickson FamilyTruly life-changing books don’t come around very often, but I can say with confidence that “GrandFathering: Live to Leave a Legacy” (coming this fall) will transform the way you view grandfathering forever. Step aside “Twilight”, because this book examines the relationships between human people. That’s right – no vampires. No werewolves. No gimmicks. Just a straight up exploration of what it means to be a grandfather in the 21st century, a time when grandfathers are becoming more important than ever before.

Unconvinced? What if I told you that over 40 percent of all children in this country are being born to single mothers, and that many grandfathers are stepping up to fill the role of father as well as grandfather. In this time of brokenness, it’s time to make a call to grandfathers to not only leave a legacy, but to live a legacy for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

Even though I’m not a grandfather, I still see the importance of this book to grandfathers and non-grandfathers alike. I’m so convinced by the message of this book in fact, that I agreed to write the preface. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect from “GrandFathering: Live to Leave a Legacy.” I hope it encourages you and challenges you to become a person that lives to leave a legacy.

What my grandfather means to me is something that can only be described through the little moments. It can be seen through the way he always “let’s” me win at Scrabble, in the way he reaches over and eats the food off our plate when he thinks we’re finished, in the way he can simultaneously watch a muted USC game on the television and talk to us about how we’re liking our classes at school.

It can be seen in the way he always shows up to our plays and baseball games, wholeheartedly supportive but occasionally trash talking in a volume that he believes to be quiet, but is still overheard by those around us.

My oldest remembrance of my grandfather is when I, sitting in the backseat of the car, told my grandfather that I loved him this much, spreading my little, toddler arms out as wide as they could go to illustrate the abundance of my love for him. Whether this is an actual memory or my mind’s reconstruction of a story told so many times I’m not sure, but either way, I can still say with widespread arms that I love my grandfather this much.

It’s a testament to his character and involvement in my life that I can say with such honesty that my grandfather is one of the greatest men I have ever known. As such, the importance of this book is insurmountable to all grandfathers, providing a guide to loving your grandchildren and showing this love through simple actions.

Being a grandfather is different than any other role, and its uniqueness provides uncharted territory for examining the nature of this relationship. Growing up, my grandfather (the esteemed author of this extremely amazing book) played a very active part in my childhood; a part which I believe helped make me who I am today. His encouragement and confidence in my ability to be ‘God’s best’ was a constant reminder to me that I was special not only in the eyes of my grandfather, but also in the eyes of God.

I am so grateful that God has given me such a loving, generous, and sometimes embarrassingly honest grandfather, and I have full confidence that this book will help any grandfather looking to strengthen their relationships both with their grandchildren and with God.

Gabby Brotherton is a 19-year-old granddaughter, a student at the University of Tulsa and an aspiring writer.

Author to Grandfathers: Step up and Leave a Legacy


There is immense untapped potential to invest in the next generation, says Dr. Dan Erickson.

Dr Dan Erickson CroppedDr. Dan Erickson is a grandparent seven times over (so far) and will be the first to admit that he wasn’t the parent he wanted to be.

Grandparenting is a second chance and an opportunity to learn from mistakes.

“Grandfathering is a do-over,” he likes to say. “It’s not too late to dust off our regrets – and all parents have them – and get a fresh start. Let’s call it parenting 2.0.”

“GrandFathering: Live to Leave a Legacy,” will be released on Grandparents Day, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 and is the latest book from the author, speaker and pastor.

Erickson, founder of People Matter Ministries, has been sharing material on grandfathering to men’s groups as he speaks around the nation. He’s noticed that he is the only speaker who addresses the topic at the many conferences he attends.

“The response has been phenomenally positive and overwhelming,” he said. “Our culture tells grandpa to spend his later years in a rocking chair or on the golf course, but there are lives to be changed and disciples to be made. There are grandkids to love.”

In addition, today’s culture of family brokenness has often left grandfathers as the only stable, spiritual men in the lives of their grandchildren. In these cases, their roles are not optional but critical in saving a generation.

Erickson experienced this himself when his daughter, who is now a happily married mom of five, had her first child as a single parent.

“That began a journey of grandfathering that changed my destiny,” Erickson writes. “I have to admit that I was a preoccupied father. I struggled with my own insecurities, seeking to please others, and often lost sight of those people in my life who really mattered most. In many ways I got a do-over and a fresh start.”

This short book is rich with personal and practical stories from Erickson’s life. It’s written for the short-attention-span type who needs to get straight to the bottom line.

The book succinctly addresses these topics and more:

  • Grandfathers aren’t killing time baby-sitting: They’re leaving a legacy – for better or worse.
  • Impactful grandfathering takes time and energy, but it’s worth the reward.
  • By living purposefully, and with spiritual values, grandfathers can be champions for each of their grandchildren.

About Dr. Dan Erickson
Dr. Dan Erickson is the founder of People Matter Ministries is the author of “Finding Your Greater Yes!” and, with Cathy Erickson, “God Loves Do-Overs.” Other projects include “An Unstoppable Force: A Christian Manifesto” and “Why Minister to Men?” He has served in executive and pastoral positions with four dynamic churches and as executive vice president of the Northwest Graduate School Doctor of Ministry program. He has also held leadership positions with Promise Keepers and the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries. Dan and Cathy have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and seven grandchildren.

Learn more at

Grandfathering: A Fresh Start and Do-Over

Let’s call it parenting 2.0.


Erickson FamilyI walked into the living room, looked into the sweet eyes of my daughter Shannon, and instantly she began to cry.

She seemed overcome with fear and her eyes gazed at the floor while tears streaked her cheeks. Through sobs, she said, “Dad, I’m pregnant.”

My wife Cathy sat beside me as Shannon’s sobs broke my heavy silence. I sat there bewildered as the waterfall of thoughts rushed through my head. My daughter had recently graduated high school and was beginning her walk into adulthood.

Travel weary, I had just returned from training in Denver, after recently being appointed as Promise Keepers’ regional director for the Northwest. I was just 44 years old, and a pregnant teenager was not part of my five-year plan.

Thankfully, my heavenly Father quieted this inner turmoil and not a word of it was breathed. In a still small voice he spoke to my sprit: “Tell Shannon what I have told you time after time. This is part of my plan for her life and I am with her. This child will usher in the beginning of a new and rewarding life for you and Cathy.”

It must have been an extended time, because my wife, Cathy, shook me out of my bewilderment when she said, “Say something!” I expressed to Shannon our commitment to be there for her and her baby. I told her, “There was a God in heaven who loved her unconditionally and there was a dad on earth who did too.”

God was right! It began a journey of grandfathering that changed my life. I have to admit that I was a preoccupied father. I struggled with my own insecurities, seeking to please others, and I often lost sight of those people in my life that really mattered most. I often allowed the “whats” in my life to determine my identity and significance. This affected how I related with the “whos” in my life – my wife and children and now grandchildren. In many ways, through my grandchildren, I got a “do-over” and a fresh start.

Shannon gave birth to our first grandchild, Gabrielle, who we affectionately call “Gabby.” She is now 19 years old, going on 25, and working her way through college.

God allowed Cathy and I to become part of a moment in their destinies. That moment in 1994 could have gone quite differently. I realize now that God was testing me for he already knew what he was going to do. We’re currently up to seven grandchildren and I can’t imagine life without them.

I have determined in my heart and spirit, with the help of God Almighty that I will live a life that will leave a legacy, one that will echo now and for eternity.

Whether you’re a grandparent or not, you too can leave a legacy in the lives of those who matter most to you. Today can be the beginning of the rest of your life.

Maybe you can identify with me; you also need a do-over. I want to stir up and call out of every grandfather (and anyone else who is reading) the belief that they can make a difference, that they can leave a legacy through grandfathering.

We should not fear failure. We should fear that we would spend our lives succeeding at what really does not matter.

Imagine the possibilities!

Dr. Dan Erickson is the author of “Grandfathering: Live to Leave a Legacy,” due in early fall of 2014.