This article is part of The Building Blocks of Faith Toolkit—a collection of resources for strengthening faith formation in your congregation and at home, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.
Being an intergenerational church isn’t about adding another program or putting an end to age-specific ministries. It’s about living as God’s family in a way that values, equips, and includes all ages. Doing so requires thoughtful intentionality.
The Building Blocks of Faith describe four spiritual needs that are met in Christ. They can help your church cultivate a congregational culture in which all ages feel sure that they belong to God and to their faith community, know God and God’s story, have hope for the future, and feel called and equipped to participate in God’s work.
Here’s how to use the Building Blocks to support intergenerational ministry.
Read through What Are the Building Blocks of Faith? to get a clear understanding of each Building Block. For an even deeper dive into the concept, check out Laura Keeley and Robert J. Keeley’s Lifelong Faith journal article on the topic.
Download the Building Blocks of Faith Chart for Intergenerational Ministry. Fill it in to evaluate your current intergenerational gatherings or ministries (weekly worship, service projects, etc.). You can also use the chart for planning future intergenerational gatherings (Christmas or Easter worship, a summer worship series, and so on). Some additional tips:
If you’re working with a team, it’s helpful for each member to fill in the chart independently and then share their answers with each other.
It can be helpful to invite people in the age categories represented to share how they are (or aren’t) experiencing each of the four Building Blocks during the gathering or ministry you’re assessing.
As you consider how the four Building Blocks are being met for people who are present in current gatherings (for example, worship), ponder how the absence of some of the blocks (for example Belonging) might have contributed to the absence of the people who are no longer participating.
After you have filled in the chart, you’ll notice that some of the boxes may have many things written in them. These are the areas that are being well served by your ministry. Rejoice and celebrate—and reflect on why these areas are so well represented on your chart.
Then look at the boxes that are less full, or even empty. These are areas that perhaps need some attention. Explore these gaps. Are there people who are being excluded? Are there ways in which you can build on your strengths to focus on these needs in your congregation?
Explore New Ideas
Faith Formation Ministries has curated resources to help you cultivate an intergenerational church culture in which all ages learn and grow, serve and worship together. Visit the Intergenerational Church toolkit and check out the Resources by Topic list in the Family Faith Formation toolkit.
Use the chart again (and again!) to reassess how your intentionally intergenerational areas of ministry are meeting the faith formation needs of all ages.
Want to know more? We’ve gathered a wealth of resources in our free Building Blocks of Faith toolkit.