Workshops

Distinguishing between Mono-, Multi-, Cross- and Inter-generational
Chris Barnett, Centre for Theology & Ministry, Melbourne, Australia
Mere semantics or actually helpful? The renewed interest in intergenerational ministry is supported by research that affirms intentional connections between the generations as integral to sustainable, long-term faith formation and discipleship. However, even when churches embrace the language of "intergenerational," they can still miss the mark with regard to genuinely transformative intergenerational practice. Can a finer understanding of the distinctions between mono-, multi-, cross- and inter-  assist congregations become more truly intergenerational? Join with other passionate practitioners and thinkers for this engaging, participatory and practical workshop.

Developing and Sustaining an Intergenerational Vision for the Long Haul
JP Conway, Acklen Avenue Church of Christ, Nashville, TN
In theory, everyone likes the idea of intergenerational practices. Honestly though, I’ve learned it’s more fun to demonize age segregation than to consistently commit to bringing all ages together through the highs and lows.  Several years ago, our church developed and committed to an intergenerational vision of congregational life, including how we approach worship, teaching, service, discipleship, and small groups.  In this time, we’ve experienced successes and failures, resistance and affirmation. Through it all, we’ve listened to critiques and fresh ideas, made adjustments, and recommitted to an intergenerational ecclesial culture.

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Intergenerational Camps & Retreats
Melissa Cooper, LECFamily, Fruitland Park, FL
Camps and Retreats can be some of your most powerful tools in building intergenerational church culture. People are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things when you’re in a “place apart” and not at home or church. We’ll discuss some principles that undergird the best intergenerational retreat experiences, look at multiple models of intergenerational camps, and address the great challenges that come with these programs as well.

Faith Storytelling with All Ages
Karen DeBoer, Faith Formation Ministries
Becoming a storytelling church doesn’t take a lot of strategic planning or extra committee meetings. What it does take is a commitment to making space for faith stories in your congregation’s life together, and then taking steps to share stories together.  The resources and ideas shared in this workshop will help you develop an intergenerational storytelling culture in which sharing faith stories becomes a rich, natural pathway to growing together in Christ.

Singled Out: A Conversation of Being Alone/Isolated/Solitary & the Church
Ron DeVries, Faith Formation Ministries
When we think about being single, most often we draw our attention to the young adults in our churches who are not married. Words like “Alone” or “isolation” take on real meaning for us at all ages in the church and for a great many reasons. This conversational workshop will look this reality and hope to wrestle with what intergenerational ministry might look like for those who feel like they are singled out.

Are We There Yet? Intergenerational Youth Ministry Through the Lens of a Family Vacation
Lynn Barger Elliott, Adjunct Professor, Calvin College; Associate Pastor, Mayflower Congregational Church, Grand Rapids, MI
Many family vacations strive to bring multiple generations together under the same roof.  In this session we will explore the latest research on the necessity and benefits of interaction between generations, as well as the challenges that arise, particularly within a congregation.

Connecting the Generations through Visual Faith
Nancy Going and Jared Rendell, Vibrant Faith Ministries
Want to help people of all ages engage Scripture and connect with one another more deeply?  This workshop will introduce you to the Visual Faith Project, one of the active research projects of Vibrant Faith. We believe that Scripture must lead in the formation of faith. We have discovered that pairing images and Scripture allow for greater levels of Scripture engagement and especially across the generations. This workshop will help you both learn what we’ve learned about Visual Faith in practice in churches and experience the power of images for the formation of faith and spiritual transformation.

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Using the Building Blocks of Faith Model to Foster Intergenerational Faith in CongregationsBob & Laura Keeley
Churches have a variety of faith forming activities. It can be difficult to see how they fit together to form the faith of young and older members of the congregation. In this workshop we will introduce the Building Block of Faith model as a way to think about all the church’s activities as faith forming events.  By using the same model for all generations, congregations encourage relationships, knowledge, hope and calling to grow in their faith.  

Parents as Partners: At Church and at HomeAmy Kippen
Is it possible to simply do away with drop off Sunday school for the sake of kids, parents, and God’s church? What might happen if parents were involved from the very start, intentionally forming faith together, both at home and at church? Is it even possible? Join Amy as she shares her experience leading a church that stopped traditional Sunday school almost twenty years ago. Hear about the long-term benefits to families, faith, and church involvement when parents are equipped and encouraged to be the primary faith mentors for their children. Then learn about the Nightly Home Huddle, a simple check-in that brings faith formation home, and becomes the foundation on which all faith formation is built; every week at church and every night in every home.  

Discovering Scriptures Together: Intergenerational Bible Study
Suzie Lane, GenOn Ministries
Want to gather all ages together to explore scriptures, but can’t imagine how to do that with preschoolers and retirees together? In this workshop, participants will learn the benefits and blessings of bringing all ages together for Bible study, and leave with concrete plans to create these intergenerational gatherings on a regular basis.

Intergenerational Leadership For Everyone
Aqueelah Ligonde
When adults, children, youth, and young adults worship, learn, play, and serve together something very powerful and lasting happens. Leadership skills are nurtured and grow strong. Oftentimes we think only about adults as leaders when it comes to worship and service. But, when intergenerational ministry is done intentionally and with open eyes and hearts, everyone has a place to lead. In this workshop, we will discuss ways that we can nurture, encourage, empower, and celebrate all our leaders no matter how young or seasoned…big or small.

Intergenerational Caring: The Foundation for Intergenerational Ministry Success
Jim Merhaut
Caring expressions by congregation members across the generations are both a starting point and a measure of success for churches that are becoming intentionally intergenerational. Churches can weave opportunities to express care into programming at first, and then they begin to emerge spontaneously throughout the community as the culture of intergenerational caring transforms a church with deep warmth and powerful developmental results. Whether a church is just at the beginning of the intergenerational journey or has years of experience, this workshop will offer powerful insight into the heart of intergenerational success.

LOGOS: Arena for Practicing the Art of Intergenerational Christian Relationships
Liz Perraud, GenOn Ministries
LOGOS is a weekly intergenerational experience for young people that creates an arena in the church where all ages, together, can learn about, experience, and practice the art of Christian relationships, critical for developing life-long disciples. This workshop explores how LOGOS, through a shared meal, Bible study, recreation, and worship arts fosters intergenerational relationships and the resulting benefit to the entire church. 

Developing digitally enabled and connected intergenerational programs and experiences
John Roberto, Lifelong Faith Associates
Discover how to use digital media, digital strategies, and online platforms to extend and deepen intergenerational programming and experiences. Explore blended models of programming that integrate digital media and online with gathered experiences. Review a variety of examples and models – as well as resources – to use in your setting. 

Engaging All Generations for Glocal Connection
Linda Staats, HomeGrown Faith
Cross-Generational engagement is about empowering all ages and generations for a local and global connection. In this workshop we will weave mission and service into a plan for faith forming, intergenerational ministry. Depart with ready-to implement, practical ideas for criss-crossing the borders of generations and engaging all ages with one another and in God’s mission.  

Unite Generations, Ignite Opportunities
Jessica Stollings, Re-Generations
Have you ever wondered why one generation on your church staff wants structured office hours, and another wants a more fluid, work-from-home model? Or why you can call one of your leaders and they’ll pick right up, but- try as you may with another- and they won’t answer until you send a text… and then they instantly respond (with a supporting emoji, of course)! Rapid change over the last century means each generation has grown up in a vastly different world. These differences are reflected in a spectrum of expectations and communication styles in that can lead to conflict even when everyone means well. In this eye-opening, fun, and interactive workshop, Jessica Stollings will help you understand and engage all generations on your church staff and leadership team and leverage their collective strengths to build a stronger ministry today and into the future. 

Exploring intentional intergenerational environments where all ages draw closer to God and each other
Tammy Tolman, Collide Church, Wollongong, Australia
How do we help people to be Here2Stay, when there are so many reasons for Them2Go. Imagine if everything we did or said came from a foundation of seeing discipleship as lifelong faith formation.  What could that look like? I think it would look a little like what Jesus did with those He walked with. What does it mean to walk in a lifelong intentional, relational, holistic environment where the generations do life together?  I will be sharing how we have been discovering how to do this better from my ten years of experience with Collide Church in Australia.

Intentional & Sacred Ways to Worship with All Ages
Olivia Bryan Updegrove, Disciples of Christ
As we seek multiple tools to worship together at all ages in intentional and profound ways, there are a few current high quality resources (like Young Children & Worship by Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman) that provide intentional understandings that create a sacred experience that can engage all in worship together.  The shift to include children in the congregational worship experience, challenges many of the adults sitting in the pew on multiple levels. It creates a tension that can only be overcome when we truly help one another realize that scripture says, “Feed my lambs” prior to “Tend my sheep.” 

Navigating Church CultureLesli van Milligen
Peter Drucker coined a useful phrase when it comes to figuring out why it is so challenging to bring about change in most systems: culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In other words, the best made plans will be doomed to fail- if we don’t take time to understand how those plans will impact the culture we are trying to change. Change is often met by resistance rooted in fear. This can be especially true when moving to an Inter-Generational model for ministry. Navigating culture focuses on  understanding how your congregation’s culture has been and is being shaped before replacing, re-working or re-arranging it. In this workshop we will explore various tools for analyzing your church’s culture as well as tools for helping you direct healthy change. We’ll also look at some small steps that will help start the change momentum.