Holly Allen: Welcoming emerging adults; Joe Azzopardi: Impact of IG on discipleship; Cory Seibel: Transitioning churches from multi- to intergenerational outlook

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Holly Allen: Welcoming emerging adults; Joe Azzopardi: Impact of IG on discipleship; Cory Seibel: Transitioning churches from multi- to intergenerational outlook

15.00

Walking with Emerging Adults on Their Spiritual Journeys
Holly Allen,  Professor of Family Science & Christian Ministries, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee 
How might traditional churches join twenty-somethings on their spiritual journeys? How might the church support young adults as they enter the work force, forge adult identities, re-visit childhood beliefs, and re-story their lives? The premise of this paper is that emerging adults actually desire authentic intergenerational relationships as they enter adulthood; they need those older and wiser to listen as they voice doubts and fears, negotiate peer and work relationships, and integrate who they were with who they are becoming. Building on research from David Kinnaman, Christian Smith, and Kara Powell, this paper will explore why emerging adults are walking away, share current research from two church plants made up almost exclusively of twenty-somethings, and outline six ways more traditional churches can welcome these emerging adults into our communities.

The impact of intergenerationality on discipleship
Joe Azzopardi, Lecturer, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, Australia
This presentation is a response to the call for more research about intergenerational practices in churches. My current research project seeks to assess what impact intergenerational Christian practices have on discipleship. My presentation will outline twelve key factors that contribute to discipleship; it will also describe the various intergenerational activities the churches are experiencing. My pilot study with two intentionally intergenerational congregations has field tested the synergy between discipleship and intergenerational experiences; and I will soon be working with eight other churches to further connect the dots between these two concepts.

Leading Multigenerational Churches to Become Intentionally Intergenerational
Cory Seibel, Central Baptist Church, Edmonton, Alberta; Affiliate Professor, Sioux Falls Seminary, South Dakota
Many church leaders today possess an affinity for intergenerational approaches to ministry, yet struggle to help their congregations transform into intentionally intergenerational communities of faith. As these leaders have discovered, it is not easy to reverse decades of the church being conditioned by approaches to ministry that have tended to isolate the generations from one another. This paper will address this challenge by exploring how leaders might guide their congregations through the process of change. Important insights will be gleaned from the fields of organizational leadership, systems theory, and diffusion of innovation theory. Leaders will be aided in navigating the difficult dynamics that are likely to arise within their congregations and within themselves as they journey through the process of change.

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