Sunday, June 05, 2005

Intergenerational Worship Celebration

Today at CCBC during the Connect Worship Celebration, we had an intergenerational 'service' where the children, youth, uni students, adults and family all worshipped together corporately. The theme was on CCBC in mission, and I was given the opportunity to plan for the flow (logistics) of the worship celebration to introduce the missionaries at CCBC. We had praise and worship (with actions), puppetry, powerpoint presentation, flash presentation and interactive prayer.

Apart from the ambivalence about the differences between emerging missional church and mainline church, I found that even within the mainstream churches, there are so many various ways of 'doing church'. And intergenerational worship celebrations can really be among the most intriguing, moving, memorable and yet challenging worship services a congregation can 'produce' (yet I really don't like this word because of the consumeristic tone to it). Some people have seen it work well, but most confess that 'success' does not come as often as they'd like (then again what is success???). The truth is that it's not easy to 'structure' or 'plan' worship so that it engages, challenges and satisfies a wide array of ages, needs and learning styles. But I do see the benefits of intergenerational gathering - the followings are some of them:

  • Families whose parents are busy are looking for ways to spend meaningful time with their children that will spur them to further sharing and conversation.
  • Intergenerational worship often provides an avenue for interaction and integration between older and younger members of a community.
  • It can work well at introducing / integrating new members into a congregation as well as providing ways for older, harder to get to know members to become more accessible and more part of the growing, changing social life of a community.
  • It gives the younger members an experience of seeing what adults do when they worship.
  • It's been said that effective intergenerational worship is often one of the most common characteristics shared by our fastest growing churches.
  • Intergenerational Worship can be fun, memorable and meaningful!

I wonder what you think about Intergenerational worship / gathering.


Jim said...

Intergenerational worship should not be unusual - it should be the norm. If we can't be unified when we worship God, when can we be unified? If the experienced worshippers can't teach the younger adults and children how to worship, who can? If the Bride of Christ is missing parts, is she really a bride? If we can't be together when we worship, are we really a church?

Rodney Olsen said...

You've been tagged. There's a book meme on my blog. You just fill in the relevant headings on your own blog and then tag some other people. Have fun.