Intergenerational Ministry

Psalm 145:4 says: “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” This describes intergenerational ministry – one generation sharing with another — a too rare thing in American church ministry today.

We tend to “cordon off” generations from each other: through age-graded Bible study classes, in separate “senior adult” and “youth” ministries, and through “traditional” and “contemporary” worship services. Thus we actually greatly limit the opportunities for what this verse speaks of: the generations ministering to one another with their testimonies of praise of God. Each has something they can learn from the other: exuberance from the younger generations, and the testimonies of a lifetime walk with the Lord from the older generations, and more besides. Perhaps we should re-examine some of our ministry presumptions, and present more opportunities for doing what this verse says, that “One generation shall praise Your works to another.”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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3 Responses to Intergenerational Ministry

  1. Jim Ludwick says:

    I agree about the importance of the intergenerational ministry and that typically churches do little of such ministry. I am seeking to establish intergenerational ministry where I now worship as a retired clergy.

    Do you know of effective intergenerational ministries?

    I appreciate your blog very much.

    Jim Ludwick

  2. Shawn Thomas says:

    Although my experience with this has been, unfortunately, pretty “conventional”, I think some of it can be as small a thing as not separating the generations at virtually every meeting. I know of one church where there is literally not one time where all the ages meet together. On the other hand, the education minister at the church we are currently attending told us that they are purposefully not “age grading” the adult Sunday School classes, so they will be multigenerational, and the different age groups will be able to relate to each other and meet needs for each other. I have seen men’s and women’s ministries in their fellowships blend the generations well — through fishing outings, etc., as well as through purposeful mentoring. I’m sure we can do better as we put our minds to it — but it has to begin with a realization that it is indeed good thing for the generations to relate. Thank you, Jim!

  3. Pingback: Intergenerational Ministry: 3 Things You Need to Know About It

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