In the fall of 2015, NPR’s excellent StoryCorps initiative threw down a challenge: on Thanksgiving Day, record an interview with a grandparent or elder and upload it to the StoryCorps archives. Thousands of people used a free cell phone app to record the stories of their loved ones for posterity.
Think of the people in your congregation who have logged many miles on their faith journey. Now picture the kids in your youth group, who have many miles yet ahead of them. What might they learn from each other about walking with God in faith? Let’s find out.
Set up a time when your youth group can interview some of the elderly members of your congregation. Choose two or three couples or individuals whose stories are begging for an audience. (Since there’s safety in numbers, interviewing more than one person will make the elders feel more comfortable.)
At the youth group meeting before your interview, brainstorm possible questions to ask. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sometimes people think that older people “have it all together” where faith is concerned. What has God been teaching you lately?
- If there was one thing you could tell your teenage self about faith, what would it be?
- Do you fear dying? Why or why not?
- What does taking communion mean to you?
- Have you ever experienced something you would call a miracle?
- What was one of the turning points in your faith life?
This story-sharing opportunity is guaranteed to be a memorable, meaningful experience, both for the elders whose stories need to be heard and the youth who hear them. It could also be the start of longer-term engagement between the generations of the faithful in your congregation.