At Faith Formation Ministries, we believe that every church is intergenerational in some capacity. We also believe that every generation benefits from doing life together, especially when it comes to growing our faith.
The third annual 'Distinctively Healthy' Church Event at Grace Fellowship CRC in Pella, Iowa, focused on this idea and the need for churches to be intentional about intergenerational ministry. Despite the surprise blizzard, 56 people braved their way through the wind and snow to learn more about what it looks and feels like when a church ministers to all generations.
The day started with a beautiful time of worship led by two adults and two middle schoolers. Dr. Syd Hielema followed this intergenerational experience with an opening session about igen (intergenerational) ministry that helped everyone see the opportunities and impact of doing ministry together, young and old. The rest of the day was filled with four different breakout sessions dedicated to different age groups in the church: young families, youth, and the third third (age 60+).
Each of these sessions was filled with practical resources for churches to use in ministry to these generations as well as time for discussion and encouragement. There was also a breakout session led by Peter Kelder from Resonate on Go Local, a neighborhood outreach initiative that involves and reaches all generations.
The day wrapped up with a large group time of reflection as well as dedicated time for church groups to sit together and talk about concrete ideas to take back to their congregation. My favorite part of the event was reading this comment left by one of the participants on her evaluation: “Thank you for doing this. It gave me much needed help and hope for the future of my church.”
That made driving through the blizzard and all the preparation worth every minute.
Faith Formation Ministries provides congregational faith formation leaders the opportunity to meet in-person or connect digitally or by phone with members of our team and other ministry leaders for coaching and support. Whether it’s a one-time, one-on-one conversation or a long-term peer group, we are here to help. For more information about our regional catalyzer, visit crcna.org/FaithFormation/coaching!