More generations leading in worship

Posted by Liz Perraud at



Liz Perraud
Executive Director
GenOn Ministries


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

We identify four ministry areas impacted by intergenerational community: worship, study, service, and fellowship. 

intergenerational worship leadership

Let’s start with Worship. The goal is to seek to engage more generations to lead worship using a variety of worship arts. The vitality of congregational worship is enhanced and influenced by the gifts of a diversity of people across generations. This is more than about who is sitting in the sanctuary. Where and how can two or more generations lead worship together more often?

Invite and include more generations in worship leadership to increase mutual investment of all ages—a key aspect to forming intergenerational community. Learning and practicing worship leadership nurtures, encourages, prepares, and equips all people to meet and praise God as active participants in the congregational worship experience.

A bell choir is a delightful, worshipful sound for me. But I am exponentially moved when watching our church’s bell choir to see adults, youth, and children ringing, shaking, and damping together. Last fall, they were also joined by a high schooler playing the clarinet for a jazzy piece. A magnificent experience for all in the room. 

Using our definition of intergenerational ministry, what could you modify in worship leadership to include more generations?

Some ideas to get you started
Responsive liturgical reading with (grand)parent-child sharing leader voices
Drumming circle around the sanctuary with youth and older adults for a call to worship
Speakers’ Choir with a broad range of ages for scripture reading (See Speak Out)
Worship visuals such as banners, table displays, bulletin covers, slides, or videos
Prayers of Thanksgiving written by middle schoolers and prayed by young adults (or vice-versa) (or together)
An intergenerational trio introducing a new hymn to the congregation
Bell or chime choir of youth and adults
Paired grandparent-grandchild as greeters, ushers, or to carry in the elements
Music combo of beginner and experienced stringed instrument players for a benediction response  
Freeze Frame scripture tableaux with adults of a wide range of ages

Tools to help you
Use our free Snapshot tool to evaluate and discuss the four ministry areas, choosing one to start being more intentionally intergenerational.  
Schedule a workshop for your church leaders and volunteers.
Check out the 6-step path for becoming intentionally intergenerational.

Worship Arts resources
Worship Arts Speak Out
Worship Arts Drama 1
Worship Arts Drama: Puppets
Worship Arts: Creative Movement
Children of God Songbook
Worship Arts Songbook: Sing from the  Heart
Jesus I Will Follow Lead Sheet

Intergenerational ministry starts with the next step.
Pay attention to the definition and seek small wins to move your congregation forward. Want to talk about it? We’re available! Email us at



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  • Thanks for the question, Hetty! Think of a choir that reads/recites together instead of singing. Generally, the “script” comes directly from scripture, divided into various single voices (“solos”) or groupings (multiple voices or half and half of the choir) or all together. GenOn has a resource called Speak Out that explains it and includes some sample scripts.

    Liz Perraud on
  • Could you please elaborate on what you mean by Speakers’ Choir?

    Hetty Stok on

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