Intergen - relational

Of course it's a play on the two words … 'intergenerational' … & … 'relational'
Combined, they make a more meaningful word!

Often the idea of intergenerational is to aspire to holding an event with as many generations in the same room as possible. Intergenerational church or an intergenerational picnic are examples of this. Nothing wrong with that right? Well, maybe …

Just because two or three generations turn up to the one space doesn’t mean they relate well to one another. Cliques form. Different program elements cater for different age-groups … maybe completely separate programs under the one roof!

Intergen-relational means that the event is designed to encourage and establish as many relationships between people of different ages and stages of faith and life experience … bringing as many benefits as possible for as many people as possible in the mix.

It’s messy, it’s complex … but it can be done simply. Give it a try.

There are at least 4 contexts where ‘intergen-relational’ needs to work well for maximum benefit.

Individual spirituality

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.

Household faith

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.

Faith communities

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!


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Growing faith

Exploring how faith forms

Simple ways to understand faith and how faith forms helps everyone in a household understand themselves and others. If we can learn a little about this we begin to see how to challenge ourselves and others without expecting to little or too much.

On Being

A collection of ways to grow a personal spirituality

Here are a variety of ideas gleaned from personal experience, conferences, books and peers. Hopefully they will confirm some of the things you are already doing and you can add your stories and ideas to the list. Some might be new ideas you can adapt to your style and context.

Communities of faith

How to be Jesus to one another, the community and the world.

There are lots of ways to be church … lot’s of models, traditional and otherwise … lots of theories and understandings. Here’s a model called table1 to consider applying to a small church, a study group, a fellowship or even a large group.

Household faith

Ideas especially for households with children

As primary care-givers (parents and others) are on the forefront of discipling children, lots of ideas and stories are always a help. Even share your own.

Celebrations of worship

Exploring the big idea of big church

Large, contemporary, seeker friendly churches need constant review and revision in order for them to keep:

  • helping followers of Jesus to open and read the Bible for themselves
  • making disciples who can make disciples
  • helping parents to help grow faith in their own children
  • households of faith encouraged and equipped