by Melissa Alfaro/ August 15, 2022
The Church is a tapestry of multiple generations. Each generation has a need to interact with other people in a meaningful way. Studies in the area of psychology have proven that humans have an innate need for authentic relationships, and when that need is met it can have a positive effect on human behavior. By involving multiple generations in ministry to kids, you can help create a culture of connectivity within your church and simultaneously nurture healthy disciples.
Nine Practical Ways to Involve Multiple Generations in Ministry to Today’s Kids
The wisdom and nurturing spirit of senior adults can encourage younger generations.
1. Invite senior adults to share a story with the class. Senior adults have a wealth of experiences and personal anecdotes of God’s faithfulness that can inspire and uplift.
2. Partner children with a senior adult for memory verse recitation. Have students recite their memory verse to a senior adult each week following class dismissal. This small yet recurring task can lead to significant interaction.
3. Assign senior adults the role of prayer partners. Senior adults can assist in praying for the child during scheduled prayer times as well as on their own time.
Empty nesters can convert a season of “emptiness” into an opportunity to impart time and knowledge to both children and other parents.
4. Recruit empty nesters as event coordinators. Empty nesters can oversee preparation details that deal with Vacation Bible School, children’s productions, and classroom parties.
5. Involve empty nesters as greeters during arrival time. Allow them to greet the children as they arrive and interact with them concerning their day or week.
6. Provide opportunities for empty nesters to facilitate a parenting small group. Empty nesters can share their experiences, resources, and encouragement with parents of younger children.
Teenagers are a fountain of energy and creativity that can be used to enhance ministry activities that are relatable to children.
7. Invite teenagers to lead the children in praise and worship. Teenagers can serve as godly examples of what it means to worship. Their participation can also encourage children to offer their own talents to the Lord.
8. Facilitate a “big brother/little sister” partnership between the children’s ministry and youth ministry. Schedule intentional gatherings or activities between both groups that include team building and meaningful interaction.
9. Provide teenagers with the opportunity to help develop and lead various children’s activities. Allow teenagers to be a part of the development and presentation of illustrated lessons, skits, games, and crafts.
Bottom Line: Intergenerational ministry encourages the older generations to articulate and share their faith and it promotes opportunities for children to form healthy relationships that nurture their growth as a healthy disciple.What generational group from the list above is not actively engaged in ministry to children at your church? How can you begin to implement that age group in your children’s ministry?