Creating intergenerational church services

Church serviceI’ve heard this comment several times from students: “Church just isn’t for me.” In my mind, my immediate response is, “You’re right! It’s not for you.” Church worship services are generally focused on the working middle-class adults, not students or children.

I’d really like to address this issue with my church’s leadership and I know they’ll be open to it, but their first question will be, “What do we need to do? Where do we start?” and I don’t really have an answer for that yet. It’s definitely has to be more than just inviting students to help lead worship or take the offering — it has to be a total reset of the whole approach and mentality of church. The mentality needs to be all-inclusive. The problem with that, though, is that the “target” becomes a wide range of people and instead of intentionally hitting the bull’s eye for one age group, now it’s a more buck-shot approach. We hit everyone a little, but no one enough to make an impact. However, if we’re really honest, we could probably stand to evaluate even our adult-oriented church services and ask, “Is this really making a spiritual impact on those who attend?” If the answer is anywhere between “no” and “kinda,” then the service needs to be overhauled anyway.

Is it even possible to create church services that are intergenerational and effective for every age group represented? I’m kinda thinking it’s not, at least not with our current approach to church.

Posted on June 3, 2007

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