There are at least 4 contexts where ‘intergen-relational’ needs to work well for maximum benefit.
In the first instance it begins with an age-appropriate, individual responsibly for one’s self. It takes two for a relationship. It starts with you. The first relationship is not a relationship between people … it’s between you and God. We show our worth of God 24/7 in every thought and action and stance towards God which is then reflected in all other relationships … our self, our history, others and our environment.
The next level where intergenerational-relationships occur is in a household. Engaging in faith practices. Where this happens and is seen by others in the household and others around us, we are giving God a good name. Living out a personal spirituality first and foremost in the private household will always be a great example to others.
- Where children are involved in a household of faith, the primary responsibility of making disciples rightly belongs the the primary care-givers in that household. As we know, families come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and these households need love, help and support. This is where we understand that help is at hand as ‘Villages raise children & faith communities make disciples.’
- Where households are made up of singles, empty nesters, young adults, students, married couples … any combination really, the reality of a lived-faith in what ever circumstances is an important expression of faith.
Small or large faith communities can be any expression of households coming together to be even stronger together than apart. Church is still God’s good and best idea of how we are to be Jesus to one another and to those around us. We do this together with God. It is where we open the Bible together, do life together, ask hard questions together, learn to live authentic missional lives together, do the difficult yards together and reach out to others together … being Jesus ‘with skin on’ to one another, the community and the world. Often a Communion/Lord’s Supper around a central table together is a feature of the time together.
Celebrations of worship
Large gatherings become times of encouragement and story telling. There are many ways to do this but essentially all the individual 24/7 worship, the household expressions of worship, the sense of gathering as faith communities in worship are celebrated … both in the sense of thanksgiving and praise to God and in a confession of the times of failure, forgiveness, healing, learning and growth. These big events have the possibility of enthusing and encouraging and enlivening all the other dimensions of living a life of faith in The Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth!