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

by Holly Catterton Allen, Christine Lawton Ross. IVP Academic, 2012.
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Most congregations, if they are large enough, offer age level classes for children and youth, small groups for persons of similar age and stage, even worship services designed for generational preferences. In such communities, persons of different ages might never even meet. Yet, it hasn’t always been this way. Until about 100 years ago, the generations worshiped, studied, served and prayed together. This thoroughly researched yet practical volume argues for the return to a congregational “culture of intergenerationality.” The authors, who are teachers, researchers and practitioners, offer multiple reasons to integrate the generations. They frame their argument in terms that are biblical, theological, theoretical, and anecdotal. And, they assert that an intergenerational approach to congregational ministry is inherently more aligned with Christian theology and practice - and thus more effective - than an age-segregated one. Of particular value for congregational leaders is Part 4, “Intergenerational Formation Practices”. Here, the reader discovers practical ideas for bringing the generations together in worship, learning, storytelling, service and mission, and small groups. Multiethnic congregations and megachurches are addressed in the final two chapters. Appendices offer intergenerational event and activity suggestions, resources, and a list of biblical passages that reflect intergenerational ministry.

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