Camden Theological Library

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Intergenerational Christian Formation : Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship

Posted on 11 April 2013 Gavin Glenn

One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4

Most churches and faith communities segment their ministries by age and generation. The kids go to childrens church, the teens go to youth group. Worship services are geared toward different generational preferences, and small groups gather people at the same life stage, whether singles, young marrieds, parents or empty nesters. In some congregations, people may never interact with those of other ages.

But it was not always so. Throughout biblical tradition and the majority of history, communities of faith included people of all ages together in corporate worship, education and ministry. The church was not just multigenerational; it was intergenerational, with the whole church together as one family and people of all ages learning from one another in common life.

In this comprehensive text, Holly Allen and Christine Ross offer a complete framework for intentional intergenerational Christian formation. They provide the theoretical foundations for intergenerationality, showing how learning and spiritual formation are better accomplished through intergenerational contexts. The authors give concrete guidance for how worship, learning, community and service can all be achieved intergenerationally. Case studies of intergenerational congregations provide models for how a local churches can create a culture of intergenerationality.

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