La Crescenta Presbyterian Church
Not only is it important for churches to have many opportunities to gather the generations together, it also is so important that families do things together. In today’s busy world, family time often takes a back seat to all the other activities and work items we think are so important. It is vital to your children to have planned activities with both parents and grandparents or extended family.
Start when your children are young. It is much easier to develop the habit then. But if your kids are already teenagers, it is never too late to start. When family members are distant, “adopt” some local senior citizens. Generations not only learn from each other, they begin to value each other.
Check out John Roberto’s article on intergenerational faith. Scroll to page 4 and find ways we all benefit -- helpful ideas for churches as well as parents.
This article stresses that values are caught, not taught. I especially like the Storytelling section, which is one way “caught values” happen: My mother was a great storyteller, and now I share some of her stories with my grandchildren. But it is not just us telling stories to the younger ones. It is just as important to listen to some of the stories from those younger than us.
There are lots of ways to have fun together. At a family reunion, we have played a game called “How well do you know (fill in the blank with a particular family member)?” For example, “How well do you know your mother?” The mother leaves the room while the group makes up several questions. For example: What is your mother’s favorite activity? If she could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? What is her favorite food? You get the idea. Then choose a couple of contestants to write down their answers. Mom comes back into the room and answers the questions. It can be quite surprising and fun, and it often leads to telling a story or two.
For more family fun across the generations, check out these two sites:
Doing service projects together as a family or with other families is also a great way to mix generations. Find some examples at this site:
God created us to be in community. Families doing things that bring the generations together creates community. Please make time for such activities and gatherings. It will be time well spent.
Other posts from GenOn Connect – March/April 2018