A multi-generational church

I believe that God’s plan for His people is that we be a multi-generational church. Simply put, every local church should have people of all ages active and working together.

This is not only difficult in today’s world it is increasingly rare in churches today.

This generational gap reflected in the church is perhaps rooted in our culture and lifestyles. John Ortberg said it well “Thirty years ago, families had one TV with three channels; and if people watched something, they watched the same something together. Today there are more channels than you can count, and they no longer broadcast; they narrowcast to a little sliver in the age spectrum.” So everyone has their own personal piece of technology showing a program that suits just them.

This has crept into the church. It has become a popular church growth method to sharpen your focus demographically so narrow that your church is targeted to a very specific age group often to the exclusion of others.

Even in churches with different generations present we contextualize our ministries so that we have Kids worship, Teen Worship, Contemporary worship, Traditional worship, all with the intent to be relevant but also running the risk of creating gaps between generations that prevent us from experiencing the full blessing of Christian community.

We must strike the biblical balance of all generations. The same Scripture that says, return to the “ancient paths” (Jeremiah 6:16); “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority” (Hebrews 13:17). also says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young” (1 Timothy 4:12); “Sing a new song” (Psalm 144:9); and “New wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22).

It cannot be either/or it must be both/and when it comes to serving all generations within the church.

Admittedly being a growing, multi-generational church is CHALLENGING. Whenever we come together we discover our taste for music, use of technology or even architecture in worship differ, usually according to age.

Yet the BENEFITS of engaging every generation in our church family far outweigh the challenges.

Pastor Steve Reeves states, “The younger church desperately needs the example and counsel of older, wiser members. And the older members need the energy, passion, and fresh thinking of the young. When the older members are wiser, they understand how much they need the life that younger adults bring, and how it is critical to the purpose and vision of the church. When younger adults truly desire to become Christlike, they intentionally seek out those who have experienced the bumps and blessings of life.”

We must remain committed to becoming churches that reflects the beauty of being multi-generational.   Why? Our community is multi-generational, the biblical church is multi-generational, healthy churches are multi-generational and of course Heaven will be multi-generational.

So should we be committed to children and teens? Yes! Should we be committed to young adults? For sure! Should we be committed to families? Absolutely! Should we be committed to those who have more life behind them than in front? Without a doubt! Together we complete the family of God and become an attractive community of faith.

So should we be committed to children and teens? Yes! Should we be committed to young adults? For sure! Should we be committed to families? Absolutely! Should we be committed to those who have more life behind them than in front? Without a doubt! Together we complete the family of God and become an attractive community of faith.

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About Pastor Troy Keaton

Founding pastor at EastLake Community Church at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia. View all posts by Pastor Troy Keaton

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