On January 1, 2004, God sent me on a new assignment. This mission was for me to lead an ultra traditional main-line denominational church in Metro Atlanta. When my pastorate commenced, the church was 128 years old and the average age of the congregation was 63.6. After getting the demographics of this church, it became apparent that certain national trends were a reality within my new context.
In seminary, I studied about the difficulty of having effective multi-generational ministry. For some reason, churches that were filled with an older demographic often had very little involvement, presence and participation of younger people. Most older congregations had diminished younger populations and younger churches did not have a significant presence of older people. All over America there were and still are generational wars in institutions, organizations and churches.
In older churches, dress codes, traditional music and the desire for the “familiar”, sometimes prevent younger people from seeing the church as relevant. In some younger churches, many older people felt omitted and not desired. To that end, I read a book by Dr. Gary McIntosh called “One Church Ministering To Four Generations”. In this book, Dr. McIntosh addresses the importance of multigenerational ministry and gave suggestions for improving these relationships. This book validated the teachings of St. Paul who said that “older women should teach the younger women” and St. Peter who preached that “old men would dream dreams and young men would see visions”.
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