Two Questions

Posted by Tracey Daniels at

Rev. Melissa Cooper
Associate, Vibrant Faith

In each edition of GenOn Connect, we will ask one member of the GenOn Ministries Advisory Council the same two questions about intergenerational ministry: “What keeps you up at night?” and “What gets you up in the morning?”

What keeps you up at night?

The idea that churches all over the country are struggling, looking at church growth models and new flashy curricula and megachurch models trying to emulate them in order to “do church better,” when, in reality, they have everything they need for discipleship already within their walls and throughout their community. I love showing churches that while claiming an intergenerational culture in your church is not an easy shift, it is a simple one. It’s hard because most often, it’s changing people rather than programs, choosing culture rather than curricula. 

If I can add a second thing that keeps me up at night, it’s that the majority of people who are driving intergenerational ministry are children’s and youth ministers. Senior and lead pastors must be primary drivers of this vision, because it’s not about children and youth; it’s about all of us! I love working with children’s and youth leaders, but I love taking on the challenge of sharing this vision with senior leadership even more. 

What gets you up in the morning?

(My cat, usually.) Ministry wise, though, it’s people who think and dream big and want to enact those big dreams! Intergenerational culture building is more than a new program; it doesn’t happen without a vision beyond one piece or part of the church. 

And I love hearing success stories! I recently spoke with a pastor for whom I did a workshop a year ago, and as a result of his passion and enthusiasm and understanding the importance of intergenerational culture in his church, their whole church has transformed the way it does worship and programming. The staff and congregation alike have embraced it as well, all because he first cast that vision, and took the right steps to bring people along with him. Big picture, big vision thinking, followed by big actions together!

Rev. Melissa Cooper is an Associate with Vibrant Faith, providing ministry coaching and consulting focused on intergenerational ministry and cross-generational communication. She is ordained in the United Methodist Church and has served for over a decade in camp and retreat ministry and youth ministry. You can connect with her at or on Facebook at Rev. Melissa Cooper.

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Other posts from GenOn Connect – March/April 2018

Intergenerational Experts Help GenOn Envision the Future

Parents’ Corner: Bringing Generations Together

One Great Idea: Lego Night

A Growing Mainline Church

Intergenerational Ministry Resources for the Summer and All Year


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  • Just came across this page while researching an e-mail I received from Nigeria. I’ve done some writing and have a Christian book in print that’s available in Nigeria so I assumed the email I received was legitimate until I discovered it here on your web side, word-for-word except that the word “website” was changed to “book” in my note. It looks like Sister Janet Andrew is running a scam on some of us here in America. What a shame. There is nothing we long for more as Christians than to hear that our lives have been of some value in bringing someone else into the discovery of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. But there are more than a few throughout the world who have learned how to use our love for our King and turn it money in their pocket. What a shame.
    Larry Huntsperger

    Larry Huntsperger on
  • Thank you, Kathleen!

    Liz Perraud on
  • Thank you to those who keep sending these hope-filled articles about how LOGOS makes church thrive. It is not easy to change the culture of churches who fight against being church in the way that Christ calls us to be church (“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.”). Too many churches are abusing their pastors rather than make the shift to BE CHURCH from being social clubs like they’ve been since post WWII when everyone went to church. I’ll keep leading toward this culture as long as I know I am not alone, and there are hopeful stories of children’s and famly’s lives being transformed. Bless you!

    Kathleen Splitt on

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