Why Intergenerational Programs?
Generations United, a national nonprofit organization, published a fact sheet titled The Benefits of Intergenerational Programs. Their research focuses on the overall community, but many of their suggestions can be easily adapted to fit ministry programs. Their cross-generational ideas include ministering to teen parents, visiting nursing homes, and performing community service.
The report also cites 14 benefits of intergenerational programs for older adults and children. Would you like to see some of these benefits in your church? If you have the time and resources to devote to new intergenerational programs, here are some ideas:
- Start women’s and men’s book clubs that include all ages.
- Assign a new project to middle school kids: interviewing an elder about the importance of faith.
- Hold classes on Saturday mornings. Older adults can teach children cooking, crocheting, fishing, or gardening. Younger individuals can teach a “Bring Your Own Device” workshop to show older adults how to operate their GPS, computers, phones, or social media accounts.
- Send high-school students to make shut-in visits. Encourage them to bake goodies or make cards for the people they visit.
- Create a group of “traveling teachers” who visit homes and coach parents. Or, host a parenting panel at church once each month.
- Gather moms of college kids to assemble and deliver care packages to new moms.
To find more intergenerational informational guides and resources, visit the Generations United resource page.
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