Intergenerate – A Gospel for All Ages
This year the annual Intergenerate conference focussed on the book by Dave Csinos called A Gospel for All Ages. Dave (via video) and Tammy Preston, along with exceptional workshop leaders invited us to consider the ‘holy grail’ of ministry, preaching and how this too, can be intergenerational.
The Auckland conference, one of 5 throughout Australia & NZ, was the biggest with 50 or so people gathered around tables. We talked and explored, wrestled and considered this sticky topic. From figuring out the point of preaching and to exploring a variety of ways people learn. Then we moved into experiencing some different teaching techniques and discussing how they might work in our own contexts.
Our own Dion and Angela Blundell (Vicar – St Mary By the Sea, Torbay, Intergenerational Ministry Facilitator, Auckland Diocese & Worship Facilitator at St Mary by the Sea respectively) led a workshop on Curating Intergenerational Worship. Tammy Preston led us through immersive experiences of teaching and stations including a reflection on leadership. The photo of our lovely young person on the ladder is inviting us to reflect on leadership above those being led, versus being amongst those being led. It was a stimulating day, and a joy to have several Anglicans in the midst.
You may wonder why intergenerational ministry features in our youth ministries. Research tells us that young people need at least 5 non related adults in young people’s lives to support resilience and growth. Our young people often gravitate towards helping with children’s ministries, children love having teens in their world and teens benefit by the love children give so readily, responsibility and so much more. However in addition to connecting with young people we also believe that young people have something to offer the wider church. In addition to the usual age stereotypes, each generation can offer a window into the realities of their worlds. All ages win when we intentionally choose to do life together in equity, learning and wrestling with faith together, being patient with each other and listening to each others stories. Its hard work though, for everyone!