What role does age play in your ministry? Many churches routinely divide into age-based groups for Bible studies, social outings, outreach opportunities, and the like. While age-based groups are logical in many situations, we think that it’s time to mix things up!
Intentionally bringing together members of various ages for ministry work in the church is beneficial for all participants. Everyone learns from one another. They develop relationships, become partners in ministry, and grow in their understanding that the body of Christ involves all of God’s people—young, old, and everyone in between.
One way to help members of all ages develop closer relationships is through intergenerational celebrations. For these celebrations, invite families of all ages and all sizes to participate.
To kick off an intergenerational event in your ministry, follow this basic outline:
When will we host our event(s)?
Intergenerational events can happen at any time of the year. Consider these suggestions:
- Winter Wonderland
- VIP Valentine’s Party
- Easter Extravaganza
- Super Summer Celebration
- Back-to-School Bash
- Thanks Living Gathering
- Happy Birthday, Jesus Party
The events could be in the evening, on a Saturday morning, or even a Sunday afternoon. Pick a time that works well for the families at your church.
What will we do?
To illustrate a few ideas, let’s think about planning a VIP Valentine’s Party.
As people arrive, have various table activities set up. Remember, one round table for every six or eight people is best. Try to plan activities that are enjoyable for all ages and encourage participants to interact with one another. Consider these ideas:
- A card making station – include card stock, markers, ribbons, sequins, tape, scissors, glue sticks, Bible verses, envelopes, and names and addresses of shut-ins, those dealing with illness, or families with a new child.
- A coloring station with Valentine-themed coloring sheets
- A play dough station with heart cookie cutters and plastic jewel decorations
- A decorating station with sugar cookies, frosting, and sprinkles
- A station with board games or card games
- A service project station – assemble a “love box” for the homeless or Valentine’s Day baskets for shut-ins
Here are a few conversation starters for each table. Print these on red paper and cut the paper into heart shapes.
- What is your favorite type of chocolate?
- What is your favorite couple in the Bible and why?
- Do you have a favorite Bible verse that includes the word “love”?
- What does it mean that “God so loved the world”?
- How do we show love to others?
During the last twenty minutes, gather all attendees together for a large-group activity.
- Play a group game. For example, a couple rounds of “conversation heart” bingo would be fun. (You can easily find bingo cards for this activity online.)
- Recognize married couples and the number of years they have been married. (Gather this information during the table activities.)
- Conclude with a devotion. (Look for free Valentine’s Day ministry messages in CTA’s Resource and Idea Center.) Sing a few songs connected to the theme. For example, “Jesus Loves the Little Children” or “Love, Love, Love! That’s What It’s All About.” Have various ages of participants read a few Bible verses. Conclude with a prayer.
Through these activities, God’s children of all ages will enjoy refreshing fellowship and a celebration of the season. As you plan these events, continue to consider ways that members of all ages can serve in your church side by side, instead of through separate experiences.
Blessings as you create and plan!