Building Bridges that Lead to Spiritual Legacies

Brad M. Griffin

I bet if you were to look around your church this week, you’d see a number of different generations represented. 

But being multi-generational is different from being intergenerational. It’s one thing to be a church who has people of different ages around. It’s a very different thing to be a church who weaves people of all ages together in relationship, service, and worship. 

At FYI we often talk about the “Kids Table” analogy of church, comparing our age segregation in church programming to what happens at two-table family meals (this video offers a powerful visual). Recently I’ve been introduced to some new friends who would say the same thing happens to adults in the second half of life: they get sidelined to their own table, just like the kids. 

We’ve been wondering together: 

  • What if all generations came together to ‘do’ church?
  • What if old and young were equally valued?
  • What if we all decided to share faith and life together?

So Jeff Mattesich and I are partnering with Ward Tanneberg of the CASA network to bring Sticky Faith to an older audience. This fall we’ll be in seven regional locations sharing Sticky Faith at the “Influence the Generations” one-day events.  The idea is for senior adult ministry folks to come together and bring lead pastors, youth pastors, family pastors, and key volunteers to explore what it could look like to engage believers across the lifespan. In particular, what it looks like to help older adults build spiritual legacies in the younger generations. This video captures some of that conversation: 


I have a feeling this is just the beginning of the dialogue.  Part of that dialogue is learning to overcome our fears of talking to one another.

If you were going to share with senior adults in your congregation about engaging with teenagers, what would you say?


Published Jul 10, 2012
Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Associate Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of Sticky Faith ​and Deep Justice Journeys. A native Kentucky youth pastor, Brad now lives in Southern California with his wife Missy and their three children.

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