I love the idea of Discover. Maybe it goes back to my days of reading Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown detective stories. Discover invokes feelings of excitement and newness; the experience of surprise or “aha” moments in the midst of an intentional quest. When our two-year-old granddaughter rounds the corner of the paved path, glimpsing the swings and slide (that she didn’t remember were going to be on our walk), her whole body erupts with her discovery of “the pway-ground!!” Wouldn’t it be fun and energizing for your church to experience the same exhilaration as you journey toward more intentional intergenerational community?
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 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 will explore each step—beginning with Discover.
- Discover what it means to be a Christ-centered intergenerational church.
The Discover step (step one) is the time to begin to surround your journey in prayer and to gather a diverse team of “thinkers” (visioners) and “doers” (implementers). Include clergy and lay leaders. In our experience, the combination of church staff and volunteers makes ministry more likely sustainable. A small team works; we recommend at least three people. We’ve got a great list of books, articles, and websites on our Why Intergenerational page for you to read and discuss together including the work of other experts in this field.
During the Discover step is the time to attend GenOn’s Intergenerational Pathways workshop as a team (90 minutes, online). You’ll discuss why gathering multiple generations together helps cultivate Christ-centered community, and you’ll evaluate your current ministry through an intergenerational lens. We offer this workshop throughout the year ($35/person) or you can request it for your congregation on a date and time that works best for you (flat rate, unlimited number of participants from your church).
As your team begins to Discover more about intergenerational ministry, you’ll share those discoveries more broadly with your congregation. And we’ve got ideas for that sharing, too!
Itching to get started on this exciting and intentional six-step path? How can we best help you? Fill out our Intergenerational Ministry Interest form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
Other IG Mix articles Jan-Feb 2023
- Two Questions: Brittany Sky
- Sign up to be considered at a pilot church for the Christian Parenting Project US churches only due to grant restrictions
- Hands-on, community-building, intergenerational resources for Lent, Easter, and Spring
- Youth Summit registration is open! Experience a week of Christian community in a casual retreat setting.
- How can we help you with your interest in intergenerational ministry?