Jeremy Summers, director of adult spiritual formation for Church Multiplication and Discipleship (CMAD), recognizes that there most definitely is a generational faith divide. Recently, he organized the Intergenerational Ministries task force, and it met on April 15-16 at Wesleyan headquarters.

“Our goal in meeting was to discuss how our ministry programs can become more strategic in connecting generations by initiatives that bring awareness and sharing of best practices,” said Jeremy.

The task force represented quite a span of ages and backgrounds, and included: Jim and Jerolyn Bogear, co-pastors at The River Church, Sacramento, Calif.; Randy Tindall, spiritual formation director at 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville, Ga.; Alex Mandura, senior adults pastor at College Wesleyan Church, Marion, Ind.; John Wood, family life pastor, The Wesleyan Church of Hamburg, Hamburg, N.Y.; and Matthew Deprez, intergenerational pastor at Frontline, Grand Rapids, Mich.

According to Eugene Roehlkepartain, a respected researcher and author on this subject, “The truths, traditions, and values of faith are passed from generation to generation not primarily through programs and curricula, but through meaningful relationships, dialogue, and mentoring across generation . . . Thus, building intergenerational connections may be more important for the future vitality of the church than any age-specific programming.”

Task force members Jim and Jerolyn Bogear are co-authors of two books with Wesleyan Publishing House, including Faith Legacy for Couples: Seven Values to Shape Your Marriage and Faith Legacy: Six Values to Shape Your Child’s Journey. “We are excited about the idea of having not just multi-generational, but intergenerational ministry,” said Jim. “Most of us have been a part of multi-generational churches, but have not been intentional for inter-generational involvement and investment in the lives and ministry of other generations. We want to involve the younger generation, as well as continue to connect and engage other generations, especially those with wisdom and insight to pass along.”

Another task force member, Randy Tindall has a unique perspective on experiencing intergenerational relationships. “As a military commander, a business executive, and now as a pastor, I have experienced firsthand the value of receiving and giving insights, wisdom, and knowledge from one generation to the next. Building on a solid foundation of the legacy of others allows you to take their best and go even further with kingdom impact.”

Member John Wood, stated, “I have been part of a team that is guiding our church on the journey of making intergenerational ministry a value that is expressed in everything we do. We have called it family ministry, but it is essentially intergenerational ministry. While ministry between generations is changing the face of ministry in some churches, many have yet to focus on the importance of connecting the generations in deeper relationships. Many, if not most, churches are structured more for transfer of knowledge than building relationships. We have a huge challenge before us to bring the generations together after being too separated for too long.”

The Intergenerational Ministries task force will continue to meet and will seek to provide online resources, create strategies, and develop training initiatives for pastors and local church leaders.