Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

During the last few weeks of Lent, our church offered us a resource that led us through the Psalms as we engage with our Lenten observances. Whenever I am immersed in the Psalms, I cannot help but see the language of generational discipleship woven through the songs.

Here are five powerful ways that intergenerational relationships can transform a community of faith as described through the Psalms.

Shared Spiritual Journey

Psalm 78 is one of my favorites. This is the heart of a community’s spiritual journey. Faith communities serve as spaces where individuals embark on a shared spiritual journey, regardless of age. By nurturing intergenerational connections, we create opportunities for diverse perspectives, experiences, and spiritual insights to intersect. Older members can offer guidance and mentorship to younger individuals, while the younger generation can infuse fresh energy, passion, and new perspectives into the community.

Membership & Discipleship

Intergenerational relationships in the church provide a fertile ground for mentorship and discipleship. Within a church setting, older, more experienced members can guide and mentor younger individuals, helping them navigate their faith journey, offering wisdom, and serving as role models. The younger generation, in turn, can bring enthusiasm, curiosity, and a willingness to learn, invigorating the community and fostering a sense of continuity and generational growth. One generation to another.

Strengthening Family Units

In Psalm 68 we read : Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord., A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing..”

Churches often encompass families of different generations and varying compositions including single parents, stepfamilies, foster and adoptive families, and grandparents or other relatives serving as primary caregivers.

Intergenerational connections within a faith community contribute to the strengthening of all types of family units. By providing a platform for interactions between various age groups, families are nurtured, and bonds across generations are deepened. Children, parents, and grandparents can engage in shared activities, worship, and service, fostering a sense of unity and shared values.

Worship and Celebration

Intergenerational connections enrich worship experiences and celebrations within a faith community. Different generations bring their unique perspectives, musical genres, and spiritual expressions to the worship setting. Intergenerational collaborations in choirs, music ministries, and worship teams can create a diverse and vibrant atmosphere, uniting multiple generations in worship and fostering a sense of belonging for all.

Service and Outreach:

Intergenerational connections empower faith communities to engage in meaningful service and outreach. By pooling together the talents, resources, and experiences of individuals from various age groups, the community can have a more significant impact in addressing social issues, caring for the vulnerable, and spreading love and compassion. Intergenerational partnerships in mission projects and community initiatives exemplify the shared values and commitment to making a positive difference.

In the realm of a church or faith community, the inclination for age-specific groupings is natural and can offer a sense of comfort in shared experiences. However, by intentionally embracing intergenerational connections, faith communities can unlock a wealth of spiritual growth, mentorship, family unity, vibrant worship, and impactful service. Let us recognize and celebrate the “birds of a feather” within our faith communities while embracing the beauty and transformative power of intergenerational connections, creating a tapestry of diverse ages united in their shared faith journey.

Psalm 115 declares “The Lord remembers us and will bless us: He will bless his people Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron; he will bless those who fear the Lord—small and great alike. May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Within the context of a church or faith community, age-specific opportunities like Sunday school and youth group are the “norm”. However, if communities lack the space and opportunity for generations to connect with each other, develop meaningful relationships, and engage in intentional discipleship, we miss out on some incredible ways to grow with God and one another.  It is essential to recognize the tremendous benefits that intergenerational connections can bring to the spiritual growth and overall vibrancy of the community.

Family Faith Formation: Worship Tools

Fill Their Toolbox: Block 4 of Family Faith Formation Released!

In the Bible, we are told that our lives are to be lived as worship. As families travel through this Worship Tools curriculum, they will identify their unique household rhythms and routines and establish ways to incorporate worship at part of their everyday household experience. Our Fill Your Toolbox curriculum gives parents what they need and churches what they desire. Each block contains five lessons focused on introducing, learning, and practicing specific discipleship strategies. 

About the Founder of ReFocus Ministry

Christina Embree is the founder and director of ReFocus Ministry. She holds a masters in ministry focused on Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and a doctorate in spiritual formation with a focus on age segregation and intergenerational ministry.

In addition to coaching churches of multiple denominations and traditions all around the globe, Christina serves as the Minister of Generational Discipleship for the Great Lakes Conference of the Brethren in Christ and as Next Gen pastor at Open Door Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

She is widely recognized as a speaker and author in the areas of generational discipleship, intergenerational ministry, and family ministry. As the mother of three children, she is familiar with the challenges of faith at home and pastoral ministry. She along with her husband Luke share a love for the church, their community, and the global work of peace and restoration through Jesus.

Interested in having Christina visit your church, speak at your conference, or coach your team?

Christina speaks on a wide range of topics related to children, youth, and family ministry with a unique focus on connecting generations for discipleship within your church. Her personalized approach allows you to pinpoint the needs of your community and gain the insight that you are looking for. Whether this is a volunteer team training and pastoral staff meeting or a ministerial conference, her experience and knowledge will help you determine the next step forward in creating lifelong disciples.

Leave a comment

We're made for connection. What is keeping us apart?

Take the Connect Generations Assessment and identify the bridges and barriers to discipleship in your church