Blog

Youth ministry often gives opportunities for our creative energies be used in many ways. . .From organizing a snowball fight at a Classis meeting to hockey games between church councils and youth to modifying curriculum.

May 24, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource

At Faith Formation Ministries we believe so strongly in the benefits of intergenerational service that we devoted a whole section of our online Intergenerational Church toolkit to serving together.

February 28, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Curriculum

This free resource on The Lord's Supper gives instructions for worship stations that connect people with each part of the prayer. You'll also find links to songs, ways to include younger children, and more.

February 15, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

My parents always saw my sister and I as integral parts of their ministry, knowing that we had valuable contributions to make. And yet they did not force us to get involved; they extended an invitation. 

February 14, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

The day 5-year-old Axel brought his plastic blue guitar to church, he found a place between the drummer and guitarist, and began to play. No one laughed or made a fuss. Axel knows his gifts are valued. 

February 9, 2017 0 2 comments
Resource, Conference or Event

Christian Horizons Family Retreat, taking place at Elim Lodge in Peterborough from August 27 to September 1, 2017, is seeking short-term missionaries to partner with families affected by disability. 

February 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

A Canadian grocery store chain recently released a video as part of their mission to get people to #EatTogether. I love the video because it demonstrates how intergenerational community is created!

January 12, 2017 0 3 comments
Blog

Many congregations experience an influx of visitors over Christmas. And sometimes in the rush to welcome those who are new, we forget to enfold those who used to be more familiar—like the young adults and students. 

December 13, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

After 22 years of full-time youth ministry, I’ve come to realize that I'm no longer passionate about youth ministry. What I am passionate about is the intergenerational faith formation of our youth and young adults.

December 5, 2016 0 3 comments
Resource, Lesson or Study

How do we engage our congregations in Advent? How do we get people reading their Bibles? In response to these questions, my church (Oakdale Park CRC) created this Advent community reading plan. 

November 22, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

Check out this treasure trove of faith forming, intergenerational Advent tools and ideas for how to use them.

November 11, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

A while back I sat around a table listening to a bunch of people quite a bit older than I talking about faith. Though our vocabulary and context is different, I was deeply humbled by their impeccably relevant questions. 

November 7, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

That nursery programs hold this much intergenerational ministry potential is often overlooked in churches where nursery is viewed as the hard to staff, catch all for kids who can’t be, or don’t want to be, in worship. 

November 1, 2016 0 1 comments
Blog

While on vacation in South Carolina, my wife and I worshiped at First Zion Baptist Church. And though it was immediately clear that we were visitors in a strange land, this little church with a big heart welcomed us. . . 

October 10, 2016 0 1 comments
Resource, Conference or Event

InterGenerate is the first multi-denominational conference about bringing generations together! It will be held at Nashville’s Lipscomb University from June 25-27, 2017. Sound exciting? We think so! 

October 5, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

He could no longer even stand, so he simply laid himself down on the ground. “Did anyone do anything?” his mom asked. “Yes,” he said quietly. “My friends ran over and laid on the ground right next to me.”

September 27, 2016 0 2 comments
Resource, Litany

Back to School Litanies includes 3 great resources: an encouraging Back-to-School Liturgy for children, a positive Back-to-School Liturgy for Youth, and an understanding Back-to-School Liturgy for Educators.

August 22, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Devotional

Do you love the Olympics? If so, here is a great devotional for your family to use as you cheer on athletes, root for underdogs, and learn how Jesus paints a different picture than what we see at the Olympics.

August 16, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Conference or Event

Looking to attend a conference or educational event on youth and/or intergenerational ministry? Here's a list of what's coming up this fall and into 2017. Please add your favorites to the list! 

August 8, 2016 0 1 comments
Blog

Congregations always have a culture. You won’t find it written down in mission statements or council minutes but walk into any congregation on a Sunday morning, and you will gradually gain a sense of who is welcome. 

July 28, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

It was not until we moved to a new town and a new church that I really saw and felt the contrast between a young, homogenous (in age) community and one that spans many generations. 

July 27, 2016 0 5 comments
Blog

I'd heard the word "mentor" before but it always had a certain amount of formality attached to it. After learning more, I realized the potential for our churches.  

July 13, 2016 0 2 comments
Blog

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.

March 24, 2016 0 2 comments
Resource, Video

With our music ministry we are finding that worship choirs are a great way to incorporate people of all ages into worship!

March 1, 2016 0 1 comments
Discussion Topic

Telling faith stories is a powerful way to share what God is doing in our community, our churches, and our homes. Has your church developed any unique storytelling traditions or practices that other churches could adapt? 

February 23, 2016 0 0 comments

Pages

RSS

That's a wonderful way to use the post, Dave. Thanks for sharing!

What a perfect article.  Thank you for it.  I've forwarded it as my own thank-you letter to parents in our church (who, wonderfully, behave just like the parents described).

Love these specific examples of how simple it can be to include all ages. Thanks Karen!

This post on Belonging leads directly to another toolkit from Faith Formation Ministries:  Building Blocks of Faith! Belonging is one of the Building Blocks and one of our needs for faith to grow.  Connections like this and the interweaving of faith topics are energizing.  Thanks, Karen!

Great video. There is a recent book by Tim Chester, A Meal With Jesus, in which he explores the gospel of Luke and how it reveals the importance of meals as a means for developing community. In Luke Jesus is either, going to, coming from or at a meal.

posted in: #EatTogether

I love this! Thanks for sharing stories of church potlucks, popcorn prayers and care groups. It is absolutely messy and chaotic but beyond that, sacred. Thanks again! 

posted in: #EatTogether

The reason I like the video is that I think the people at the table are meant to be simply enjoying each other's company, not scheming to influence the religion of their neighbors and their kids. It's a liberating feeling to truly accept others as they are. Christians should try it.

posted in: #EatTogether

Thanks Karen. 

I plan on being at that Conference.  Sounds very interesting. 

Thanks for sharing the story of what an intergenerational culture looks like at your church, Ron. What a wonderful example of how we can learn from others in different places on their faith journey.

To those readers who are interested in learning more about the kind of intergenerational faith formation Ron is describing--consider attending the Intergenerate Conference next June in Nashville. The Faith Formation Ministries team will be there and we'd love to connect with you!

 

At our church, Calvary CRC we actually have 9 volunteer youth leaders of various ages ( 22-55)who

involve the seniors of our church 4 to 5 times a year. What a blessing to have the opportunity

to mix and learn about faith from each other.We need youth leaders who are not necessarily

trained professionals but need leaders who have a passion for building Faith across generations.

I heartily agree that nursery is a great opportunity.  At age 62, I find myself more able to take my turn in nursery and it is delightful.  I get to know the babies and small children, and to work and have conversation with some adults and teens that I probably would have much conversation with.

I think older members, especially men, miss out on a lot if they decide they are past the age and "circumstances" of being on nursery rotation.

I love their concept of membership! Great example of hospitality – thanks for sharing! ~Stanley

A young boy in our church broke both arms last week.  I sent this article to his mom.  

On January 25-28, 2017 there's a wonderful event happening in Denver for children's ministry leaders, pastors, youth ministry leaders, and all other faith formation folks. Hosted by the Association for Presbyterian Church Educators this years conference features speakers Nadia Bolz Weber and Larron Jackson and includes a wide range of excellent workshops. Find out more here.

I can't imagine being a part of a church that is not intergenerational.  It seems to me such a church is less than what it should be.  I've never been a member of one that wasn't intergenerational.

This makes me think, though, of neighborhoods that are demographically stratified, by age, ethnicity, economic class, or whatever.  Those too are less than what they should be, for essentially the same reason.

Thanks for sharing the story of how your church family understands that it is truly a family.  And how wonderful that your little one has also already experienced the encouragement and support of her intergenerational church family!

Thank you for this insight into a multigenerational church. Isn't it strange how we view this phenomenon, which used to be the norm.

Two things came to mind as I read it. Firstly, that you are part of the ministry team, and your husband the preacher. Therefore the church was serving their minister and his family, and we wouldn't expect less. But would the same assistance, love, and care be given to all families? The unwed mother of six from the wrong part of town, who can't get her life together? Personally, I have seen congregations falling over themselves to help the minister's family, while ignoring the needs of those they would rather not be part of their church.

My second thought was, where are the children? To speak of intergenerationality means children as well. You speak of yourselves as the younger generation, but there are the very young (including the one you just gave birth to!), and these also belong to the faith community. And they also have a vocation within that community.

As I reread this comment, I realised who did welcome the outcasts and the children. Jesus.

Love this article, there is so much to be gained in cross-generational ministry. I am old enough to have seen it from both sides. It is beautiful. 

Thank you for sharing this, Jill. Your thoughts beautifully echo my experiences in an intergenerational church. We have so much to learn from each other, and there are so many ways that we can encourage each other. I think God teaches us best through our relationships with one another.

Thank you for your question. I emailed the rest of our Faith Formation Ministries team to compile some resources for you and below is the list we came up with:

We hope these are helpful! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with any more questions. 

Do you have any suggestions for good books or resources about setting up mentoring programs and relationships? I believe in mentoring. I think it is something we need to be more intentional in many ways in the church, but I'm at a loss about how to start or set up opportunities for such relationships. Any advice would be welcome.

That sounds like a wonderful idea!

Perhaps we need to record, via DVD, "elders" testimonies about their walk with the Lord?

 

So appreciate you sharing this video and showing us the beauty of generations coming together.  What a great idea! 

Hi Shannon! Thank you so much for sharing this. I completely agree that Halloween, though a secular holiday, is a GREAT opportunity to engage with our neighbors and share the love of Jesus (and have fun =)). Loved the practical ideas. Thanks again! 

Getting a package is such a tangible way to feel loved! I think it's really cool that churches are finding such unique ways to stay connected to college kids. I'm also going to check out SoulFeed; sounds like a really neat idea. 

Thanks for sharing!

I was in Marketing & Design before seminary, and I’ll a give you credit on the boy band/Church allegory –not on “transparency” but on “authenticity.” 1D makes NKOTB look cheap today because 1D can SING. True, kids today are mostly ‘over’ the hype of ‘80s/‘90s pre-programmed bands, but that doesn’t keep some promoters from still using the tactic to sell music & culture. It’s the genuine rooted musicianship of 1D that sells their music, and that will always connect with people more deeply than the plastic coating some groups (and congregations) adopt.

More important than Facebook posts and hashtags, the Church needs to operate in the joy of our calling as reconciled sinners telling other sinners about our Reconciler. Everything else the Church tries to do to “sell” herself and her Lord to the popular culture is costumes and fancy dancing.

Great idea, Karen.  In our church a verse is written in each Bible that is given to 2nd graders.  The verse is chosen by the pastor for that child.  In worship during the presentation the pastor reads the verse to the child before the Bible is given to the child.  Often that verse is one that the kids recall when they profess their faith.

posted in: The Cookbook Bible

Thanks for sharing this idea, Drew. I love that you include both public and Christian students and that you also include teachers and administrators. It sounds like a very powerful intergenerational moment in the life of your congregation and I imagine that everyone---those who were prayed for and those who prayed for them---are blessed by the experience.

Wow, Kory. I have never heard of Kindergarteners being acknowledged and blessed before school begins. Providing those little ones with such a tangible expression of the love surrounding them from their Covenant family is beautiful. Draping those those quilts over the baptismal font is such powerful reminder of how we are called to live out those baptismal promises. Thanks for sharing!

On the Sunday evening before Labor Day weekend, we hold a special worship service that's focused on praying for students, teachers/staff, and parents as they prepare for "Back to School."  We've done this for the past several years.  The congregation is given a list of all the students as well as teachers who are members of our congregation.  They are also given the names of the administrators of the local schools (Christian and public).  Last year we had a small enough group where the group that was being prayed for sat in an inner circle and the rest of us sat in an outer circle and offered prayers for each group.  Before the prayer time, each group was given an opportunity to share specific prayer requests.  Our group was a little bigger this year so we had the group that was being prayed for sit in chairs up front and share prayer requests.  I led the prayer and then allowed time for others to offer prayers.  Since it was an evening worship, the number of parents and younger students was quite low and the overall attendance was about 1/4 of the congregation.  I'd love to do a similar format where more of the congregation could be present.  It's a powerful time and each year, students, parents and teachers as well as congregation members comment on how much of a blessing the evening was for them.

Long time ago Someone wrote that a congregation should be measured by the songs they sing, not the statement of faith. If that is true then most congregations are vacation bible school mentality at best.

Amen, Karen! And a big WOW! on those quilts, Kory! However we do it, I agree that this is a good opportunity to pray together for our kids (big and small) and our educators. The editors for Lift Up Your Hearts also thought of marking this moment in worship, and included #274 - a song that says "In all our learning, give us grace to bow ourselves before your face..." (verse 2), along with a spoken prayer for teachers and learners. I also love the simple chorus-like feel of #129 - a song that young and old could sing together with simple percussion, repeating the phrase "We will follow, we will follow Jesus....through the valleys...to the mountains...in the city...in our classroom...in our calling.

Our church has a beautiful tradition of giving all students beginning their Kindergarten year a quilt handmade by some of the ladies in the church. Their name is sewed at the top, the congregation signs a panel on the back. At the beginning of the service the Sunday before school begins (this past Sunday) the quilts are draped over the baptismal font. As each child comes forward, I wrap the quilt around their shoulders, remind them of the promises made at their baptism and encourage them to think of their Covenant family giving them a hug every time they wrap themselves in the quilt. This year was my first time being a part of this and it was truly a wonderful moment.

This isn't specifically for intergenerational trips, but our church recently sent it's high school youth group to Mexico on a mission trip. The youth director paired all of the students going with prayer partners, older folks in the church, many of whom were very generous in supporting the kids financially to go. She also had the kids in Wednesday evening children's ministries make cards for the youth going on the trip (6 weeks before they left). This got the younger kids interested in the trip, too. So when the youth director was thinking of a fund raiser, she put together a dinner at the church, that the youth sold tickets for. The price was a bit steep for many folks ($20/adult, $10/kid, and 5 and under free), but more than 100 people showed up, and it was an intergenerational group, from young families to seniors. Many people paid more than the ticket price to support the trip.

The meal for the dinner was prepared by a few of the boys in the youth group, interested in cooking and baking, under the shepherding of a man in the church who loves grilling. There were ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, homemade rolls, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese. The rest of the youth group pitched in with set-up and tear-down and serving, and everyone pitched in to promote it. The whole church really took ownership of the fund raising. It was good to see!

I love this idea - thanks for sharing it, Jolanda! Was there a certain curriculum or focus for these gatherings?

 

Love this! Thanks for sharing.

Hi Drew,

I was a member of the team at Faith Alive that was involved in the creation of the WE intergenerational event series. We are so glad to hear that your congregation was blessed in using them! Although I an unaware of any similar intergenerational resources, I can point you to someone who never fails to inspire me with her ideas for incorporating all ages into worship. Her name is Theresa Cho and she is a Presbyterian minister in California. She freely shares her excellent ideas and experiences at: http://theresaecho.com/intergenerational-worship/ Hope that helps!