An intergenerational community is one where all ages are working together towards a common goal–sharing and growing in their faith. While we create space for children and young people to belong and identify, we ensure they are embedded in a welcoming, loving and accepting wider church family. Forming relationships with children is the responsibility of all members of the church – not just their parents or those who are involved in children’s ministry.
"We need to provide intergenerational communities where children can take risks, grow in their faith, and connect with adults who will love, mentor and inspire them. Frequent and regular cross-generational opportunities for worship, learning, outreach, service and fellowship offer distinctive spiritual benefits and blessings.”
- IVY BECKWITH
NEW: Intergenerational Communities online training!
We have partnered with Discipleship Pathway to produce a series of videos that make up a Intergenrational Communities class. These videos are free to watch, and are a great springboard to thinking about Intergenernational ministry in your context.
Growing up in an intergenerational faith community is the best way for us to form faith, as we journey alongside other ages and generations in discovering who Jesus is. As we create space for children and young people to authentically belong in our faith communities, we ensure they are wrapped up in a welcoming, loving and accepting church whānau, who provide opportunities for all generations to worship, serve and seek God together.
Modules in this class
Want to know more?
Here is one video and two books we'd recommend you start with:
InterGenerate is a collection of chapters from a wide range of authors, covering topics such as:
Intergenerational Christian Formation is the 'go to' book of all things intergen. Don't be put off by the weight of this book, it's an easy and enjoyable read, and lays the foundation for why the church should seek to bring the generations together for worship, service and life.
Catterton Allen, H. and Lawton, Ross C. Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship, Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2012.
We have a selection of videos and resources on our YouTube Channel
- Dr Holly Allen, author and scholar, shares a talk on Intergenerational Ministry
- A video on 'Congregation about Intergenerational Ministry' from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, NZ
- Our friend Jill Kayser, from Kids Friendly (Presbyterian Church of New Zealand) shared a talk at Kidsreach Sydney on 'Moving your church - embedding an intergenerational culture in your church'
Listen to the talk here
Here are some interesting podcasts that might be helpful in chewing over some intergenerational thoughts from the Work Experience Podcast, from the Uniting Church of Australia in Victoria & Tasmania.
Sharing the Big Things of Life Together, with Mary Hawes
Rev Mary Hawes is the National Children & Youth Advisor for the Church of England
Intergenerational Preaching with Dave Csinos
Rediscovering the art of preaching in an intergenerational community, and the importance of a 'forward-leaning faith.'
Past, Present & Future Together, with Christina Embree
Pastor and writer Christina Embree drops into the studio to continue our conversation regarding Intergenerational Ministry.
Leading Intergenerational Communities with Cory Seibel
Exploring the opportunities and benefits of developing intergenerational connections in your faith community.
If you're interested in all things 'Intergenerational' then take a look at some of our favourite books and resources.
Articles and good reads
Related websites include:
- Youth worker shares key ingredients for intergenerational church (Church of Scotland)
- Best Practices in Intergenerational Faith Formation (John Roberto)
- Faith Formation Across the Generations (Gariette Martineau)
- Family and Intergenerational Learning Model (John Roberto, LifelongFaith Associates)
- Intergenerational Ministry Beyond the Rhetoric (Kids Friendly)
- Intergenerational Services (Still Waters)
- Intergenerational and the Bible (Ministry to Children)
- Intergenerational Ministry and Family (Ministry to Children)
- Becoming an Intergenerational Church - Ministry to Children
- Towards an Intergenerational Messy Church article (Messy Church)
- Intergenerational Visioning Tool (GenOn Ministries)
- Faith Formation Learning Exchange (Lifelong Faith)
- Intergenerational Ministry (Effective Ministry)
- The Importance of Generational Connections Faith Full Generation
- Intergenerational Ministry Beyond the Rhetoric (Fuller Youth Institute)
- What have we got to lose? (Refocus Ministry)
- Doing Intergenerational Versus Being Intergenerational (CRCNA)
- Shifting Core Values (Effective Ministry)
- Thinking clearly about family ministry (Children Everywhere)
- Age-specific or intergenerational ministries? (Amy Hanson)
- Mess with us (Crosslight)
- Vibrant Worship for All Ages (Buildfaith.org)
Related websites include:
How intergenerational is your church?
We put together a bit of an audit for you to check how intergenerational your ministries are. Rate each ministry (such as children's groups, youth group, seniors teas) from 1-5, and give yourself a total score to evaluate each group. You might be surprised which ministries are naturally 'intergenerational' and which ones you might need to invest in.
You can download it here