I Dream of a Church (#8)

28 02 2011

I recently started a series of entries on my blog titled “I Dream of a Church.” These are a collection of thoughts, ideas, and questions from the last several years about what a church might look like. I don’t claim for any of these to be original, ground-breaking, or otherwise amazing. You can find other entries in this series by clicking here.

#8. I dream of a church where…

The congregation/community is intentionally intergenerational.

A lot of folks my age (31) and younger probably enjoy being a part of a church with people their own age. I do too… just not at the expense of losing the older generations. The older generations simply have too much to offer and teach us (and, yes, much to learn from us as well). We need some people to remind us of the past and ground us there… and we need other folks to push us to the future and to remind us to be constantly re-imagining and re-invisioning things. We need to hear the faith stories of those who have gone (and continue to go) before us – their struggles, their joys, their accomplishments, their failures. We also need someone to listen to our own stories… and when appropriate, to add their commentary.

Throughout the Torah/Pentateuch/Books of Moses, the people are told to teach their children and their children’s children. They are told to recite the Law to them. They are to tell them how they and their ancestors were once slaves in Egypt… and how the LORD brought them out. They are be ready to pass on to their children and their children’s children their faith, their history, and their way of life.

Similarly, in the New Testament we find that information, faith, beliefs, and ways of life are passed down from one generation to the next, and from one group to another. (Take for example the church of the Thessalonians. They first followed the example of Paul and the others… and then they became an example to the Macedonians and Achaians.)

I believe a healthy church simply must be intergenerational. There is too great a need to pass stories, beliefs, dreams, and ways of life from one generation to another. …not only down in generation, but (perhaps especially in the case of dreams) also up in generation.

…besides, watching the different generations interact is just fun. 🙂

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