Lest you think that only adults can train children and students– think again. Training and influence happen between adults and children in the intergenerational church all the time.
One of the main areas where children and students seem to be more proficient is technology. While there are doubtless many more areas of life children and students are capable of helping adults, there is no greater gap than in technology. I constantly hear from older adults in my church that tell me that their grandchild has helped them set up their phone or computer.
It got me to thinking: I wonder if there are others in our church that might need the help from someone younger and more technologically savvy. I bet there are.
While many adults are frustrated with technology that doesn’t seem to make sense to them, many young people don’t remember a world without technology at their fingertips and can help easily in the intergenerational church.
Action: Regularly offer opportunities or time frames for adults in your church who need technological help to get the help they need.
It’s interesting to watch young people work with older adults when they know more than they do. Many young people don’t understand an older adult’s frustration and need to be coached on how to be patient and thorough when working with older adults on training them how to use their technology. Most of the time the result is a very grateful older person who is thrilled to be able to use their phone or computer and a young person who feels validated from helping someone.
This is a sure win-win!
How can you help bridge the technology gap in your church?
To purchase my book, Cultivating Intergenerational Worship, click the link below:
When I researched intergenerational music ministries, I asked leaders what evidences they have that their music ministry participants understand the value of being in an intergenerational music ministry. In other words, what practical ways did they employ to demonstrate value to their participants.
Just over twenty percent of the leaders I interviewed report that their music ministry participants comment that using a variety of literature from various music types helps all feel valued and motivated to participate.
This was a big surprise to me. Not the fact that it was reported, but that it wasn’t reported MORE FREQUENTLY.
Why is this the case?
I’m not sure I have a solid answer for this. Especially since every one of the leaders I interviewed use a variety of musical styles in their worship contexts. However, only twenty percent of them make the connection to how variety may be a key component of how the music ministry participants understand that all ages are being valued. This baffles me.
Other responses to how music ministry participants understand that all ages are valued yielded more frequent responses such as: The Leader Teaches About the Importance of Being Intergenerational The Leader Makes us Feel Like a Family The Leader Says that Music Participants want to leave a Legacy to Future Generations.
These responses make perfect sense. We expect to see them as frequent answers to our question, but when the music itself is such a key component of music ministry, why was it not the most frequent answer? Using a varying literature has a greater potential to touch the musical style preferences of most of the congregation. Using varying literature says to the congregation that you are interested in more than singing the newest songs only, or in hymns from centuries ago, but a variety of music that might appeal to and be familiar to a wide range of ages.
Worship leaders, let’s celebrate our music diversity with our people so they understand the value to the intergenerational church.
Want an easy way to integrate the various generations in your church into an easy to plan worship experience? Plan a Family Night of Worship.
Here’s what I mean:
Plan an event where you ask nuclear and extended families to present some musical/fine art offering in a worship service setting. Here’s what you do:
Pick a date and time for a worship service that allows church members from any of your main worship services to attend.
Ask family members from all generations who are musical to prepare a song, or two, for a special worship service. This can also include dance, comedy, or any arts related “act” for the worship service.
Add congregational music and/or testimonies in between family groups.
Some families have instrumentalists and singers, some have instrumental or vocal only. Other “acts” will have dancers or sign language. It doesn’t matter the combination as long as you get your creative juices flowing and get all ages in your family leading in worship together.
This event does not have to be limited to those in your biological family either. We’re all a part of the family of God so get creative with creating “acts” for this worship service.
I typically do one of these events each year. You’d be amazed at the variety of worship “acts” that are presented. In my family all of my children are instrumentalists so we typically do an instrumental piece for this event. When the boys were younger we gave them easy to participate parts so all generations could serve together. Some families will include up to four generations of singers and/or players in their “act” of worship and it’s such a blessing to see and hear them together on the platform.
BONUS! This event allows the opportunity to “showcase” a wider range of talented people of various ages in the church that otherwise may not have time for in the regular main Sunday services. It’s an easy event that goes a long way to helping build a family, intergenerational atmosphere in your church.