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Intergenerational > Multigenerational

At times, the volume is almost unbearable. No, I'm not thinking of the Long Beach Grand Prix or a loud concert I recently attended. The volume is almost unbearable around my own home. You see, I have two rather rambunctious children.

I, my wife Cassie, and our two children (ages 5 and 2 1/2) live near El Dorado Park in a little fixer-upper (that we haven't done much to fix up, quite yet!). In that little fixer-upper, our kids have created what is, essentially, a race track: through the kitchen, into the living room, around the dining table, and back through the kitchen.

And while they run around this track, they scream. Not because they're scared or hurt. Nope. They're just having fun. On second thought, perhaps it is like the Grand Prix and a loud concert, all at once?!

It is one of the (many) areas through which God is prompting me to grow in patience and understanding. The noise drives me crazy, but after all, they're kids. And kids should be able to have fun in their own home! Most mornings, I repeat that to myself as a mantra, alongside "Love is patient, love is kind, these are happy sounds..."

One of the things I most appreciate about our family of faith is how it’s like my home - where little ones are free to be themselves, even when that includes being wild and rambunctious. In nearly 10 years of serving in leadership at Good Shepherd, I can’t recall a single time an adult criticized or critiqued the wild and rambunctious kids in our midst.

And I know I’m not alone! Just this past weekend, a number of new covenant partners officially joining our church family remarked at how wonderful it is to worship alongside others of all ages. Indeed, different generations in one church is a gift! But it’s also something to work towards.

I recently ran across an article that encouraged not only multigenerational ministry, but intergenerational ministry. The difference, the author wrote, “is simple, yet crucial.”

He went on:

Multigenerational ministry is like the repeat button on iTunes. There's no intersecting of generations. They're all in the same room, but each generation is avoiding each other (intentionally or unintentionally). They're walking around the room but not across the room…

Intergenerational ministry is like the shuffle button on iTunes. There's an ‘intersecting’ of generations. They're not merely in the same room. They've walked across the room to talk to each other. They know about each other. They're deeply invested in each other's life.

If you’re like me in my home most mornings, that may require God to prompt growth in patience and understanding. But it’s well worth it. Not only so our little ones can “have fun in their own home,” but that we continue to become the church God has in mind.

And we need only walk across the room, not run around it, in circles, over and over. Leave that to my kids!

Pastor Curtis

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