For the past several years I have lived in the world of intergenerational ministry. The only problem was that it wasn’t a very big world; just a couple of random books and an article every now and then were the sum total of my diligent searching. It was probably a similar experience to panning for gold. When I did find something, I would immediately tell anyone who would listen because it was such a rare find.
But that is no longer the case. In 2006-2007 the Fuller Research Institute was completing a project that began in 2004 entitled College Transition Project. The goal was to discover links between a student’s current spiritual status and their teen years. One of the main outcomes of that research was the finding that a key player in the spiritual life of college students was the amount and quality of intergenerational relationships in the church during adolescent years.
Since that time an amazing thing has begun to happen! Intergenerational worship is fast becoming the most relevant worship experience on the horizon as more and more entities are recognizing the need for vital relationships between the generations as essential to a young person’s spiritual fitness.
The Assemblies of God leadership magazine, Influence, was recently quoted as saying, “To prepare the next generation, we need more than better content, training and mentoring; we need the heart of a father.” And in the same issue, an article by Kara Powell emphasized again, “Of 13 different youth group variables we examined, the one most correlated with Sticky Faith (faith that sticks) was intergenerational relationships and worship.”
Why should this excite you? Because RLA is already doing it! God chose us to be part of a significant work that He is doing in these last days. He is busy “turning the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers.” Malachi 4:6 And He put that into the heart of this church long before it had viable research to support it. He was using RLA as pioneers in His work as we simply followed His lead. Now that is exciting!
It has been a long journey, and we are still fine tuning along the way; but there is a sense of great expectation as we progress. Todd and I want to thank you for your faithfulness. God has formed an exceptional church body to accomplish this task. You could consider yourself as part of God’s A-team for this mission assignment. What an honor! Let’s be all in for His glory.