Nearly five years ago, I hiked a portion of The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) in Northern Spain. It was the most difficult prolonged thing I’ve ever done (except maybe parenting), but so worth it.
I had limited knowledge of the weather, limited luggage space, and limited room for day-packing with no access to the rest of my stuff until dinnertime. It was a discipline in deciding on the basics—sturdy, comfortable shoes and socks, layers of clothing, rain gear, water, cash. The basics included more than what I packed. The basics were also about physical conditioning—the months leading up to the trip. As someone who overthinks “prep,” it was a challenge to consider foundational needs that would carry me well for the long haul. But I did it!
I learned much from that trip that applies well beyond the hiking trail—like preparing for intentional intergenerational ministry in the church.
Our time and capacity may be limited (who of us isn’t “too busy”?), so we must focus on the basics—to consider a foundational, relational, and simple enough process that will carry us well for the long haul.
At GenOn Ministries, we suggest a basic approach to establishing intergenerational community in becoming an intergenerational church:
DISCOVER what it means to be an intergenerational church through well-thought exploration.
EVALUATE the options for an intergenerational approach, and then choose something.
SHARE with others what you as leaders have learned and decided.
EXPERIMENT with Christ-centered intergenerational gatherings and evaluate those experiences.
COMMIT to more regular and deeper intergenerational community.
RECOMMIT again and again for long-term systemic transformation. Keep innovating.
GenOn Ministries offers resources and ideas on our website as well as training and coaching to partner with you to DISCOVER, EVALUATE, SHARE, EXPERIMENT, COMMIT, AND RECOMIT. We have been passionate about this approach to church for more than 50 years. We know that it’s for and about the whole church, and we’ve learned that most churches need guidance. Where in the process are you? How can we walk alongside you to help get you where you want to go and what as a church you want to be? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk about your church’s needs.
Other GenOn Connect January-February 2020 articles