“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17 NIV)
Gone are the days of age graded Sunday School/Small Groups for adults. Today it is more about affinity groups. I would suggest that we need to go further. We are all a part of the Body of Christ! We need to learn from each other and dream dreams together. Have opportunities for intergenerational experiences. Here are a few ideas:
Combine some SS Classes/Small Groups for a few sessions to learn from each other. I have heard of young adult classes going to a senior adult class to learn how the church started, why they are still here and more. Young adults need to hear the dreams of the Kingdom from the past/present and share their dreams of the Kingdom today. Set up some times for classes to meet together and learn from each other.
Work on a Service Project Together. I have said from the beginning that every SS Class/Small Group needs an ongoing service project. Each will see a different perspective if it is intergenerational. As you work together, it is important to ask, “Why are you doing this? What did you learn?”
Bring all adult classes together for a short period of time. Some have brought all the classes together including children and youth to talk around tables. Others chose to bring all adult classes together over a certain topic. This is the first time in our history where five living generations exist. Learn from each other.
Mentor and teach new skills to younger adults. The millennial generation wants to learn new skills from older adults. Perhaps an older adult class would partner with a younger adult class, and share some time together in fellowship events as well as teaching skills like cooking, needlework, fishing and more. What are your passions and skills? Mentor someone else in those areas.
Have a class where youth teach senior adults about technology. In our last church I set up a free technology class twice a year about how to use cell phones, set up Facebook and more. Youth taught the class, and I observed. Every event brought senior adults, (whom had never been to our church) who didn’t know how to use their cell phones or set up a Facebook page to connect to grandchildren around the world. (I am Facebook friends with some today, because of this class!)
Insist on an intergenerational experiences as you eat during fellowship times. Too often meals at church lead to the same tradition of sitting with whom you know. Provide some questions and sit beside people of all ages. You may be surprised at what you learn.
It is time for us all to come together and learn from each other as we seek to live for Christ and the Kingdom of God. How are you sharing in intergenerational activities? Feel free to share some with me.