Information and Practice -- Learn: Step 3 in Becoming Intentionally Intergenerational

Posted by Liz Perraud at

Liz Perraud

Liz Perraud
Executive Director
GenOn Ministries




I thought it would be fun to play Cat’s Cradle with my six-year-old granddaughter. Maybe you remember the string game from childhood. The game begins when one player creates the starting figure (called Cat’s Cradle) on their hands and fingers. The next player pinches or grabs the string and winds their hands around in a particular way to transfer the loop to their hands, creating a new figure. And then it returns to the first player to create a third figure by manipulating the string loop. Back and forth, repeating a limited number of string figures until you mess up and start over again.

I needed to know the standard length of string or yarn to tie for the loop. I needed to relearn how to create the string formations so that I could play and so that I could teach her.  I watched several YouTube videos and then jumped in and started to play—pausing to rewatch (and rewatch) the videos. Try explaining to a six-year-old (or anyone!) what string to pinch or grab or how to manipulate their hands while your hands are fully occupied! There was a lot of chin-pointing and verbal descriptions. We celebrated small victories, rewatched videos, and practiced over and over, always encouraging one another. We are quite good at it now! She has suggested that I might come to her Kindergarten class to demonstrate on a Show and Tell day.

Learning something new takes information, direction, and practice. It includes encouraging one another to keep going. That’s no different than a church learning to be more intentionally intergenerational.

Most churches are multigenerational. With intentionality, any church can become intergenerational. The intergenerational church thrives with an emphasis on relationships, moving beyond the goal of just everyone in the same room at the same time.

What is intergenerational ministry? GenOn Ministries defines it as the nurturing of Christ-centered community by bringing together two or more generations in planned and purposeful settings, where all are mutually invested.

We recommend a simple and foundational six-step path for becoming intentionally intergenerational. A series of articles explores each step. We began with Discover, then Evaluate and now move to Learn.

Step 3: Learn from GenOn’s resources, training, and guidance. GenOn provides practical support to help you move from the “why” to the “how” of implementing intergenerational ministry.

The Learn step is to understand best practices, gather new ideas, and utilize resources available for your chosen ministry area (worship, study, service, or fellowship). This is a step that equips you with more than ideas. You’ll explore GenOn’s key tenants for effective ministry: Christ-centered relationships; a practical and biblical process for calling leaders to ministry; and what it means to use a balanced ministry approach. You’ll fuel your learning by continuing to pray for wisdom and discernment for your team and congregation.

Ready to start on this rewarding and intentional six-step path? How can we best help you? Fill out our Intergenerational Ministry Interest form or email us at and we’ll be in touch.

Also in the June 2023 edition of IG Mix

Two Questions: Robert Keeley

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