“I like getting together and talking with new and different people.” (age 60)
“I appreciate the opportunity to spend time with my church family in a less formal, all-inclusive setting.” (retired age)
“I enjoy how activities can engage people of all ages.” (late 20s)
“I like getting to know people from this church better and how we were able to come together as different generations.” (age 16)
“Love learning and listening to other members' points of view.” (age 21)
Most churches are multi-generational. 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 in the way, we believe, God intended. 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.
Let’s start by defining Christ-centered relationships. What are they? How do they form?
Why is intergenerational Christ-centered community essential 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
Explore these articles, books, websites, and podcasts.
- "Developmentally Appropriate" Church, Christina Embree
Generations Together, John Roberto, Jim Merhaut, Kathie Amidei
- The Generative Church, Dr. Cory Seibel
- Lifelong Faith
- Christian Reformed Church
- Why Bring Generations Together, Holly Catterton Allen
- Becoming Intentionally Intergenerational, John Roberto, Lifelong Faith Associates
- Disciples of all Generations, Liz Perraud, GenOn Ministries
- Moving Away from the Kid Table, Kara Powell, Fuller Youth Institute
- Report on Shift in Christian Education Paradigms in the Reformed Church
- Three Reasons Why Cross-Generational Connections are Important, Dr. Cory Seibel
- Value of Relationships, Kent Pekel, Search Institute
- Relationships: The Oxygen of Human Development ,Gene Roehlkepartain, Search Institute
- Intergenerational Christian Formation , Holly Catterton Allen and Christine Lawton
- InterGenerate: Transforming Churches through Intergenerational Ministry, Holly Catterton Allen, Editor; Jason Brian Santos, Forward
Engage All Generations: A Strategic Toolkit for Creating Intergenerational Faith Communities, Dr. Cory Seibel, Editor; Holly Catterton Allen, Forward
Recent Research Survey
Read “A Study of Faith Formation in Christian Churches,” the results of the GenOn Ministries Advisory Council survey of 1059 churches representing 20 denominations.