Reimagining Church as Family
By Caz McCrone, Pastor: Youth, Young Adults and Integration at Queen’s Park BC
Over the years, I have seen and experienced, the benefits of age targeted ministries. My current role is mainly focused on youth and young adults and I continue to see a place for some age specific ministry, but for a while now, God has been challenging me about what it looks like for us to be intergenerational.
Over recent years, many have lamented over the breakdown of community across society and especially the fracturing of community between generations. However, I sense this season has done something to bring back some connection.
Lockdown has meant that we have had to be church as families, in the home, and I believe we need to be asking how we get to a place where all generations can be church together; where we all value and learn from one another. Research tells us that young people stick in the church, share their faith and grow in their own walk with Jesus, when they have positive relationships in the church out with their families and peer groups, and are given space to try, discover and grow in their giftings within the wider church (not just brought in as a token young person for special events).
I am excited that government restrictions have not allowed us to simply return to what was but are leaving us with a need to be creative, to rethink and reimagine. We have an opportunity to lay everything down and only pick up and carry forward what it really is to be the people of God. When we look at Acts we read about whole households together – people of many ages and stages, backgrounds and parts of society gathering to worship God together. It was through these households that the hungry were fed, the poor clothed, the sick healed and it was through these households that God brought people to himself.
In our churches, our children and young people could have grannies, grandpas, aunties, uncles, big brothers and sisters, mentors, coaches and friends of all ages, and I believe that this could lead to a huge kingdom impact on culture and society. And I don’t think it needs to be complicated or hugely programmed, but simply choosing (as restrictions allow) to gather in small groups intergenerationally; to eat together, to listen to one another, to ask questions, to serve together and to pray.