Professor, at Azusa Pacific University
What keeps you up at night?
Besides spicy food and snoring, one thing that keeps me up at night is concern for the siloing* of the church in western culture.
It started innocently enough in the late 1940s with churches seeking to attract the new post WWII youth culture with cool meeting spaces and hip youth directors. Not long after came a new emphasis on children’s ministry, and before we had time to stop and reflect on what was happening, the local church created specialized ministry for every stage and age group in the congregation and … just like that, the church in western culture became segregated or siloed.
Since the 1990s I, along with a lot of other church educators, have been losing sleep while trying to dream up new ways to bring generations back together again. We are closer now than we have been for the last half century; however, we are still only scratching the surface.
What gets you up in the morning?
These days I get to teach university students at Azusa Pacific University. They actually pay me to help students catch a vision for intergenerational community!
Back in the early 1990s, long before the privilege of teaching university students, I was a children’s pastor and spent many a sleepless night praying and searching for books, resources, and models for connecting generations. There was almost nothing available back in the 90s, but then … I came across LOGOS!
I had a vision for engaging and empowering parents in their role of faith formation with their children and LOGOS encouraged that.
I had a vision for inviting older members of our church family to engage in all sorts of intergenerational activities with our kids and families. LOGOS had a plan for that.
I even had a vision for our new senior pastor taking on an active role with our church’s children. LOGOS had a plan for that, too.
In addition to teaching university students, these days my passions lean toward the role of senior adults (aka grandparents) and the tremendous potential for the influence we, of this age, have for bridging generations. Many churches are sitting on a gold mine of untapped riches by failing to inspire and engage older generations to come alongside children and youth. Yep, that gets me up in the morning!
*Siloing - On a farm, silos protect the crops from cross-contamination. In a church, silos turn colleagues into competitors and siloing of ministry will tear apart a church faster than just about anything. Siloing creates competition between ministries. Siloing creates a consumer ethos vs. a sense of community.
Trevecca Okholm began professional life as a children and family pastor for 25 years before moving into academics. She teaches practical theology at Azusa Pacific University. Trevecca’s first book, Kingdom Family: Re-Envisioning God’s Plan for Marriage and Family (Cascade, 2012), was written to encourage and equip newly married couples and new parents in their role of being intentionally focused in marriage and family. In her latest book, The Grandparenting Effect: Bridging Generations One Story at a Time (Cascade, 2020), Trevecca speaks into the lives of those blessed to influence grandchildren, be they biological, adopted, or faith grandchildren. Both of her books are strongly influenced by the value of intergenerational community.
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