Intergenerational Principles & Practices
Intergenerational Principles from the 2014 Symposium
Church Life & Faith Formation
Becoming Intentionally Intergenerational
Every church can become intentionally intergenerational! Congregations can make their intergenerational character a defining feature of their community life, ministries, and programming. These churches make it a priority to foster intergenerational relationships, faith sharing, and storytelling; to incorporate all generations in worship; to develop service projects that involve all ages, and to engage all generations in learning together. For these churches, being intergenerational is a way of life. It is an integral element of their culture. It is who they are! This article provides strategies, ideas, and congregational examples for becoming more intentionally intergenerational through social events, mentoring, storytelling, service, and learning.
Best Practices in Intergenerational Faith Formation
The first part of this article presents the rationale, challenges, and process of intergeneration faith formation. The second part of the article explains four key practices, drawn from research and field experience, that congregations can use to develop intergenerational faith formation. Also included is a process for designing intergenerational learning experiences and examples of intergenerational learning programs.
Faith Formation across Generations
Mariette Martineau writes that intergenerational learning is essential to the spiritual health of families, and that it makes a significant contribution to the overall health of the Christian community. Intergenerational learning nurtures important relationships between people of all ages, and it supports and guides members to better practice their faith at home, at work, and at school. Her articles describes the features, characteristics, and learning process of intergenerational learning.
The Importance of Intergenerational Community for Lifelong Faith Formation
This article presents a variety of approaches and strategies for strengthening the intergenerational character of a faith community and building intergenerational relationships.
Lifelong Faith Formation for all Generations
John Roberto presents the vision and four practices that form the basis of the Generations of Faith approach to lifelong, intergenerational faith formation: 1) a church events-centered curriculum for all generations, 2) intergenerational learning, 3) household faith, and 4) collaborative, empowering, team-based leadership.
Our Future is Intergenerational
Christian congregations across the United States are rediscovering the importance of intergenerational faith formation and relationship-building and making it a defining characteristic of their community life. This article focuses on the blessings and benefits of a being intentionally intergenerational and provides strategies and examples for strengthening intergenerational practices in faith formation and the entire congregation.
Jesus’ Prophetic Reach: Drawing Children to the Center of Congregational Life
Jesus broke with the expectations of his day by inviting children into his ministry and mission—indeed, into the kingdom of God. Churches today must do the same, celebrating and including children rather than relegating them to the fringes of their worship.
Edward D. Seely
This outline provides a variety of practices and ideas to help churches understand and prepare intentionally, intergenerational worship.
Nine Tips for Designing Intergenerational Worship
This brief article offers nine tips with ideas for designing intergenerational worship without totally overhauling everything about your current worship services.
The What and How of Intergenerational Worship
Theresa E Cho
Worshiping as an intergenerational community pushes and challenges us to be aware of how all in worship experience God’s presence; opens us up to the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit; give us permission to not claim to know it all; and exercise grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love to those that we deem different than ourselves. So, how does one go about worshiping as an intergenerational community? Depending onthe current makeup of your congregation and your worship style, Theresa Cho propose three tiers.
Worship as a Model for Faith Formation
Anne E. Streaty Wimberly
Anne E. Streaty Wimberly observes that all of worship gathers, forms, and feeds the people of God; and worship is a vital educational ministry event, nourishing resource, and significant means by which we come to know God, ourselves, and the nature of the Christian journey more fully. In her article she presents meanings of worship as Christian education, worship as God-referenced and life-directed education, and key pathways and events through which Christian education takes place in worship, including the role of the pastor. In her view worship as Christian education may be seen as edification, formation, and nurture.
Worship That Is Friendly to Children
Howard Vanderwell and Norma de Waal Malefyt
Though there are many voices and influences that would lead us in the direction of separating the various age groups in worship, we consider the worshiping congregation to be an inter-generational group of worshipers. As a matter of fact, the Christian church can be considered the last place in our society where intergenerational activity takes place. While the needs, experiences, and expectations of each age group can be quite different, these differences are not insurmountable.
Faith Milestones as a Tool to Grow Relationships
Celebrating a milestone in our lives is important. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and the list goes on. We can all think of a time when a milestone in our life was uplifted by our families with a party where friends and relatives gathered to honor important times in our lives. We received gifts and felt loved. It is good to be surrounded by many people who care about our lives and are with us for those special times. These times in our lives bring us together in an intergenerational setting where memories are made. We seldom forget about them and often seek to gather again with the same group of people to celebrate other milestones for ourselves and for others in the group.
Passing on Faith: Milestone to Milestone
Linda Staats describes how to use milestones as a powerful way to engage parishioners of all ages and stages of life in nurturing their faith and spiritual growth. Milestones offer an opportunity to bring God’s presence into the home and connect the rituals of daily life with the life of the congregation, thus shaping a vital partnership between home and congregation. Most important, milestones ministry renews and transforms congregations by tending the baptismal journey through all the ages and stages of a life centered in Christ.
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