Intergenerational Worship

I came across this blog post on Why Intergenerational Worship? & thought I’d put it out there for people to read & comment on. In it, the author writes:

‘… churches that encouraged intergenerational connections and worship and youth that felt involved and connected to the larger church had a much greater chance of remaining in church post high school.’

What do you think? How can we become more intergenerational in our worship?

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5 thoughts on “Intergenerational Worship

  1. Conceptually, the idea seems a no-brainer. The links in the articles even give practical examples that people have tried. I’d be interested in hearing what our kids, young adults and young families think might be worth trying in our context.

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  2. Yes, I was following some links from that blog and putting down some thoughts, and I was struck by the most important aspect, which is growing a church culture where kids aren’t just ‘tolerated’ or ‘accommodated’, but actually wanted. Where we see them through Jesus’ eyes of love, and see all the blessings and benefits of having them around us in worship. That’s a challenge in itself sometimes!

    After that, some practical things that might work in our church might be:

    – name tags for the kids too
    – keep encouraging kids to take part in the service, like welcoming, ushering, being in the band, bible reading and prayers
    – have the message in a couple smaller pieces. Starting the message with the kids out the front is working great I think. Maybe the rest of the message could even be broken up with a song or something too – that would help even us tired grown-ups to concentrate as well! (Same goes for the prayer time… )
    – include kids-songs during the service sometimes
    – include in the bulletin some simple discussion starters or activities for families to do with their kids at home that relate meaningfully to the message.
    – have a baptism-birthday rededication day for the congregation sometimes. Salisbury do this quarterly, and they celebrate everyone in the congregation who has a baptism birthday during those months, young and old alike. It’s very uniting I think.
    – explore ways that kids can be included in our small group times and discussions. We tried it last week where the kids (aged 6 – 12) joined us for the start of our bible study time, but we had some colouring set up nearby for them to move to when they got restless. They stayed for most of the discussion, then moved to the colouring in, got noisy on and off but sometimes threw in comments about what we were discussing while they were colouring, and one come back to join us again and ask another question later. The whole thing lasted about an hour.

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  3. I love the idea of baptism-birthday rededication days, as something we all have in common. We don’t commemorate our baptisms enough (speaking personally). One of the Brisbane churches I attended recently had a bowl of water for people to cross themselves with as they lined up for communion.

    I’ve often thought the best childrens ‘addresses’ are the ones that involve a conversation with the kids, rather than the ones that talk at the kids – as a way to both symbolically and concretely involve the kids and to value the kids by listening to them, as well as getting them to think. Maybe the conversation could be extended to actions, like an impromptu drama. Probably a recipe for chaos and turbo-charging energetic kids for the rest of the service, but if it makes them feel part of the show and helps them (and the adults) remember the message . . . .

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