How intergenerational ministry changed me - a personal story...
Tom was seventy-two-years-old when the scales fell from his eyes regarding the way lives change by simple, faith-filled interactions. It wasn’t that Tom was anti-faith conversations with younger people; it simply hadn’t been part of his experience. Sunday morning conversations were generally about gathering with like-minded, same generation people who enjoyed coffee and a chat.
Tom, a successful businessman, encountered Jesus through his local church while in his early 50’s. Baptised as an adult, he found the transformative work of God soul-shifting. But to share his story, his faith journey and life experience, and hear the stories of others, was difficult for him.
Naturally shy, Tom’s first instinct was to scan the room and find people he knew. But one day, Tom met with the pastor who asked him what he was waiting for. Taken aback, Tom said he wasn’t very good at mixing with younger people. What he meant was, he was afraid of what to say, or what they might ask, or that he might not have the right answers. The pastor encouraged Tom to give it a shot, and introduced Tom to some younger people.
Tom’s spiritual world became a beautiful Supernova. Tom engaged with young people and asked questions. They talked about future job prospects, books they were reading, activities they were engaged in, and the way the Spirit was moving them.
Tom felt renewed with a vital sense of purpose. It wasn’t simply that young people needed his wisdom: he also desired to be inspired by their own stories.
Over the course of the next years, Tom began to research the things that those young people were interested in: from chemical engineering to music, budgeting to resume writing. Tom even decided to hang out with young people as they played a game of softball. Tom drew the line at swinging the bat, though.
Now, almost five years later, Tom is one of the primary youth evangelists in the congregation.
After every worship service, Tom is one of the first to engage in conversation with young people, especially ones that might be new to the congregation.
If you were to ask Tom now what was life-changing for him about his faith, it would be safe to say that his response would be:
I am rejuvenated by seeing young people succeed in faith and life.
If you would like to learn more about how to intentionally minister to ALL generations, please contact the team at Grow Ministries. Register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will contact you.