Share the Vision of Intergenerational Ministry
You have, likely, started GenOn’s 6-step Becoming an Intergenerational Church. You have gathered your team of people interested in moving intergenerational ministry forward in your church; taken time to DISCOVER what it means to be an intergenerational church by reading and discussing recommended books, articles, and websites; and attended GenOn’s Intergenerational Pathways Workshop.
With a GenOn Guide, you and your team have used the Intergenerational Ministry Snapshot to EVALUATE your current ministry and considered areas to modify or redesign: worship, study, service, or fellowship. You have also read and discussed Intergenerational Ministry Why and How (coming soon) to determine how to modify or redesign that ministry area.
Now you are ready to share what you’ve learned about intergenerational ministry
and the vision you’ve cast for your congregation!
Your congregation needs to know more than how to grow intergenerational community. They need to understand why. Making any significant change begins with the “why.” Why does it matter? Why does this kind of community benefit all generations? Why will it positively impact your whole church? Why are you changing how you’re doing mission, study, service and/or fellowship?
Included here are ideas to help church leaders communicate the “why” of intergenerational ministry to the wider church. For sustainability, it’s critical to educate and bring your congregation on board. You know your people and the best ways to communicate with them. These are ideas to help you.
Share with enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, and delight!
Here are some ideas for preaching on intergenerational ministry and community. We’ve provided prompts to explore, suggested biblical texts, and examples of intergenerational relationships modeled in scripture.
Prompts to explore
- What is the difference between a multigenerational and an intergenerational church?
- Why and how does an intergenerational approach benefit individuals, each generation, and the church community as a whole?
- What are examples in scripture of relationships among those of different generations? What can be learned from these relationships?
- How well do generations in our congregation know one another now?
- What was discovered in our Intergenerational Ministry Snapshot? Where do we want to be? Why?
- What are the stories of intergenerational relationships and community in our congregation now? How can we grow from these relationships?
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Keep these words in your heart...recite them to your children.”
- Joshua 8:35 “There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly…”
- Nehemiah 8:2-3 and 12:43 “He read from it...and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law...the women and children also rejoiced.”
- Psalm 145:4-7 “One generation shall laud your works to another”
- Acts 2:36-39 “…For the promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away…”
- Acts 2:42-47 Life among the early church. All who believed were together.
- Ephesians 3:20-21 “…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations…”
- Ephesians 4:1-6 Unity in the body of Christ.
Intergenerational relationships modeled in scripture
- Ruth and Naomi: Ruth
- Paul and Timothy: 1 and 2 Timothy
- Samuel and Eli: 1 Samuel
- Barnabas and Mark: Acts
- Elijah and Elisha: 1 Kings and 2 Kings
- Jephthah and his daughter: Judges
- Jesus in the temple: Luke
- Moses and Joshua: Exodus and Numbers
Ideas for bulletin insert, handout,
and newsletter articles for educating your congregation
Personalize the following information for your church. Include information about where you’re choosing to start and details about opportunities for experiences of intergenerational ministry. Who should they contact with questions and for more information? This gives the congregation something in writing to continue to think about after a sermon, gatherings, or informal conversations.
The Intergenerational Church
Most churches are multigenerational. With intentionality, a church can become intergenerational, transforming to a new way of being the church--growing disciples, and impacting the world for Jesus Christ. This transformation brings about a sense of belonging for all, to be in relationship as equal parts of the body of Christ--the intergenerational church.
As generations mutually invest in one another, relationships deepen, transforming the church from doing intergenerational programming to thriving as an intergenerational community. Christ-centered community draws us all closer to God.
What is intergenerational ministry?
Intergenerational ministry nurtures Christ-centered community by bringing together two or more generations in planned and purposeful settings, where all are mutually-invested.
Why is such a setting crucial for the church?
Studies have shown that intergenerational community provides:
- Affirmed value, regardless of age
- Response to God’s call for faith to be shared in community
- Decreased isolation for all ages
- Support of families
- Welcoming and inclusive environment
- Practice in caring for one another
- Understanding and unity as a congregation