Meaningful intergenerational church experiences are intentional and valued.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145: 4
Woven throughout scripture God’s story was passed on from one generation to the next. Households and communities would gather together to eat, share in life and tell each other of God’s mighty acts. Today when generations come together, we can continue to do the same.
Intergenerational ministry takes place when people from at least two generations intentionally gather for the same activity in the name of Christ, interacting with one another in ways that reflect mutual respect and appreciation. The aim is to bring the whole church together in ministry, worship, service and community to nurture spiritual growth.
Intergenerational ministry helps to build and nurture relationships between generations. These relationships in the midst of faith and life transitions are important for children, young people and families to have both peers and the greater faith family to support and care for them.
Every church can be intentionally intergenerational in all of its ministry and faith formation experiences. To become a life-giving spiritual community we can:
- Cultivate relationships across generations
- Include all generations in worship
- Engage all ages and generations together in learning
- Encourage a community of prayer
- Involve all ages and generations in service and mission to the world
Intergenerational ministry is not a new program that must be added onto everything else the congregation is already doing, rather it can be effectively woven into the fabric of current ministry.
GIFT events provide an opportunity for people of all ages to explore God’s love for them through activities and fellowship; sharing the gift of each other and the gift of faith, the gift of building community and relationships with all generations.
Generations Together - Kathie Amidei, Jim Merhaut and John Roberto, Lifelong Faith Associates. http://www.lifelongfaith.com
Sticky Faith – Dr Kara Powell, Dr Chap Clark, Zondervan: Grand Rapids Michigan.