Question: Multi-generational ministry

What do you think is good about churches that focus on reaching a specific age group? What do you think some of the disadvantages are? Would you rather be part of a multi-generational interactive community or a community of peers? (Assuming both are in the context of Christian fellowship.)

Comments

Katie Z. said…
this is definately a question that plagues me - being in ministry to college students and young adults.

It is good b/c you have a peer group and shared experiences to draw from.

But you miss out on the ways that different experiences can impact group dynamics - especially with bible studies and such.

In the one, you create peer friends, in the other, you create intergeneration families.

I personally prefer multi-generational groups... they feed me more, and I am free to relate with lots of people on many different levels.
ks said…
You'll probably always be better friends with people who are your age and in the same position in life, but the idea behind multi-generational is that there will actually be people your age in that group as well. So you can relate with the other generations and still go out to dinner with people your own age.
Sydney Darnay said…
Without being prescriptive (I enjoy both types of ministry), my observation has been that generational ministries tend to particularly benefit those who are seeking or who are new to their faith. Being in a group of peers provides them with a comfortable environment in which to be themselves and ask the questions that are truly meaningful to them. In a multi-generational setting, an individual has more social psychology to process and respond to, which may drown out the wisdom that is being communicated.

On the other hand, multigenerational ministry seems to particularly benefit those who are more established Christians. I am speaking in generalities, of course, but I believe this is the case because these Christians have reached the point where it is no longer "about them." They have realized that they do not have all of the answers and they pay attention to the experiences and wisdom of others--not only for their own edification, but also so that they may be able to refer those whom they are not able to assist directly.

In sum, then, generational ministries are good for those who are still "takers" in their spiritual journey, whereas multigenerational ministries benefit those whose spiritual maturity has taught them to look and live beyond themselves. The latter are indispensible as leaders in generational ministries, but they are likely to be "fed" in a multigenerational setting.

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