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The 5 People You Meet in…Church

many hands

Rebecca Wilson
Central UMC-Detroit
Director of Discipleship & Congregational Life

I realized on the first day of the “Curious Church Conference” that speakers, presenters, and preachers were all talking about “intergenerational ministry.” Whatever the topic of the plenary, presentation, or sermon this model of creating ministry opportunities that bring together individuals from all generations was lifted up and encouraged.

 A Lutheran Deacon presented on an intergenerational Sunday school at her church, where students represented six generations. She shared photographs of a 90-year-old woman studying the Bible alongside a six-year-old boy.

Studies show that Young Adults, raised in church, who remain active in church, had positive personal relationships with at least five church members that were not also family members.

As I think about returning home to Detroit and implementing the amazing things I have learned here in Iowa, I am prayerfully pondering intergenerational ministry. It is more than just forcing individuals to sit at tables or in pews with other individuals from differing generations. It is recognizing that individuals of all generations have wisdom to share and wisdom to learn. It is intentionally cultivating meaningful relationships. It is life changing, faith forming, and congregation building.

Mrs. Peck, Ms. Howard, Joanne, Marti, Mr. Bob. These are five people I met in church. Sunday school teachers who left a mark on my life. I name them. I thank them. I strive to be like them.

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