Bridging the age gap

Have you ever spent a large amount of time with the adults and “older” people in your congregation? Well I try to do that every week at church and today I went and hung out with the retiree group that had an all-church picnic. I was one of 3 people there under the age of 30. It was good to meet older people that I hadn’t met or seen at church. They even offered me like 10 items for our college group dinner tonight!
I think that one thing that happens in church is that we get in our age-group classes and hardly reach out in relationship to each other because it’s uncomfortable. Inviting people to see what you do in ministry and sharing an enjoyable time together is a way to bridge that gap. Jennica (my wife) and I spend time every week before church to have a discussion with our favorite greeter, Lee. She always tells us how she’s praying for us and wants to know what we’ve been up to. It is fun to be able to get to know her and share what God is doing in our lives.
I went to Kaleo at George Fox University this last spring and Dr. Kara Powell from the Fuller Youth Institute said that youth who had at least 5 adults from church that noticed them and engaged in conversations even on a weekly basis were more likely to stay in church beyond high school. Relationships that you and the youth that you lead make with people in the rest of the church are very important because we are the body together and need to encourage one another. These relationships can also provide opportunities for your youth to serve and show Christ’s love.

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