Sarah Bentley Allred
Editor, Building Faith for Lifelong Learning
Virginia Theological Seminary
In each edition of IG Mix, we ask someone in ministry the same two questions about intergenerational ministry:
What keep you up at night?
A frequent topic of my night-time rumination, for which I have no answers, is children’s programming during worship, sometimes called Children’s Chapel. As someone passionate about intergenerational worship, I believe that it is best practice for all ages to be together for the entire worship service. And yet, parents tell me how difficult it is to worship with young children. And church leaders tell me parents want Children’s Chapel. These conflicting needs keep me up at night wondering... How can those of us with a beautiful vision of worship for all ages share it in a way others can hear and be excited to invest in? How can we support parents in the difficult work of worshiping with children? How can we support leaders in the courageous work of intergenerational worship?
What gets you up in the morning?
Intergenerational worship is challenging, especially for those just getting acquainted with the idea. It can be frustrating to hear church leaders talk about why this won’t work in their context. But what gets me up in the morning is that I have experienced the beauty and mystery and mess of worship for all ages myself, and it transformed me. I know in my bones that this is how we are meant to live out communal worship: together.
Sarah Bentley Allred serves as the editor of Building Faith for Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). She received her MDiv from VTS in 2019. Sarah has served in children and youth ministries in multiple parishes, and she is passionate about children’s spirituality, intergenerational worship, and small church formation. She loves local coffee shops, board games, the beach, and exploring new places with her husband, Richard, and their dog, Grace. Find out more at sarahbentleyallred.com.
Other IG Mix February 2022 Articles
Planned and Purposeful for Intergenerational Bible Study
Seminary Corner: Studying with All Generations
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