His response was telling to me - even though this child had grown up at FCC, he did not see the sanctuary as a place where he belonged.
At this year’s midwinter gathering for Covenant pastors and leaders, there was an emphasis on intergenerational ministry. With most churches providing Sunday school classes for all ages, it is possible for a kid to grow up at church but never actually attend a worship service by the time he/she goes off to college. Studies such as Sticky Faith show that young people who are connected to older Christians at church are more likely to maintain and grow their faith. Plus, children can benefit from observing older family members respond to God. The discipleship of our young people is too significant to be just the job of parents, Sunday school teachers and youth pastors. It is up to all of us.
Our pastoral staff is committed to the vision of being an intergenerational community. We believe it is important to be together and we believe that we can learn from one another. We want mentoring relationships to take place between our young and old(er) members. As Jesus welcomed all in his time here on earth, we want kids, teens, parents, singles, and seniors to know that they are welcome here at FCC. Therefore, we want to give every generation a voice in our morning services.
While we are still processing what these monthly worship services will look like, what we can tell you is that on the first Sunday of each month:
- there will be no classes for grades 1-12. Kids Church, Middle School and High School Sunday Sem will not take place on these days. This will help us to Worship Together.
- there will be opportunities for kids and teens to participate in the worship services through singing, playing an instrument, occasionally teaching, reading Scripture, leading in prayer, giving announcements, collecting offering, handing out bulletins, etc. This means there will be wider participation from kids and more intentionality in crafting these services for everyone than on previous ‘Big Church’ Sundays
- teaching/sermons will be conducive to learning for all ages with awareness that children and youth are present
- we will have communion and an opportunity for everyone (including entire families) to receive prayer or a blessing from a pastor
Our 11am third service already has 35% of youth participation and we want to see that as the norm in the other services as well. Our plan is that all three services will be streamlined to feature all ages during these All-Church experiences.
We look forward to Worshipping Together with you on September 7!