Monday, August 16, 2010

Time to think

Betty and I had the joy of spending this last week
with our entire family in Idaho. One of the things
we did while there was the 17-mile bike ride on the Trail of the Hiawatha. Not only do you have to go through a 2 mile tunnel with only the light on your bike, but you cross over a series of bridges like the one in this picture. It is breath taking in every sense of the word! A great time was had by all.

During some of our down time, I was reading a most fascinating book on my iPad. One of the chapters dealt with the value of intergenerational ministries, something that has been a concern to me for a number of years. For some time now, the church seems to have become far more comfortable with "silo's", i.e. self-contained ministries for each age or interest group, than it has with the "Body of Christ" truly being the "Body of Christ," embracing and celebrating all ages.

One of the things noted in the book was the fact that recently the Fuller Youth Institute released a report stating that many young people who were once highly involved in a church youth group during middle or high school stopped participating in church as young adults. Why? Well, it seems that while teens, these folks were in their own worship services, with their own music, fellowship, and teaching, and rarely if ever engaged with the Body at large. Hence, when they left high school, they didn't know how to connect with the larger church, and thus failed to do so. What a pity!

How many ways can we say that we need each other. The younger need to hear the stories of the older, and vice-versa. We all need to know what we're going through, and learn to pray for, encourage, and support one another. This past week as we were together as a large family, there were three generations of us. The diversity that represented made for a whole lot of fun. I'd like to think we all not only enjoyed each other, but learned more from and about each other as well. We even had the opportunity in a bunch of ways to serve one another. That was a good thing! Surely, that is how the whole church is supposed to look but doesn't. Think we can do something about this? More thoughts about this later.

I hope you're having a great summer. May you be blessed!



Douglas Dahl said...

Thanks for the post. My wife and I attended Crossroads many years and cities back and I have always enjoyed listening in on a sermon when I have the opportunity. I appreciate the comments on how we need to connect the generations better then we are doing. We recently became part of a church in the area we live that elliminated all age segregated programs to facilitate that. Our kids and teenagers seem to like it more then I would have thought.

Ann said...

Hi, Bill! I enjoyed this post for 3 reasons. 1. We also have an iPad! We'd have been lost many times in our explorations without the 'map app'. Love having Internet wherever we are. 2. We've also regretted the practice of having separate groups in church services for different ages. We like seeing the children of all ages. I'm sure in the early churches they were all mixed together! 3. We also love the Wallace area! Our summer job will be in Coeur d'Alene, allowing us to really explore the area (with iPad in hand!) Blessings to you,
Ann Wilson