I was sitting in a restaurant, over 20 years ago, on a date with my hubby, when a group of about a dozen people came in and sat on the tables opposite us. I was fascinated by them, as they were such a mixed bunch – different nationalities, cultures and ages, all having a really great time together. I wondered what common interest had brought this disparate group together and I said to my husband, “I bet they’re Christians!” And they were.
There is something powerfully distinct about togetherness. Diversity in unity. I was reminded of this restaurant scene recently when considering the question, “What does a church community look like that genuinely loves and appreciates the uniqueness and contribution of all the different generations within it?
We can appreciate this diversity in unity when the apostle Paul speaks of the church as a body – with each member playing a unique role and every part being needed for us to function properly. But this analogy has limitations for an intergenerational perspective – the parts of my body are a similar age!
I think the best example of what it looks like to be a church that values and loves across the generations is family – the most natural multi-generational community on earth! We all know there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but let’s just imagine for a minute how an ideal family might function:
How can each of us encourage this sort of expression of family in the life of the church?