I read another great post from ThomRainer.com written by Dr. Chuck Lawless, 8 Ways to Bridge Generation Gaps in Churches. A question we deal with consistently in women’s ministry is how to connect all generations of women for effective ministry and to make sure the next generation knows Christ. So read Dr. Lawless’ article, then let’s personalize it for women:
1. Intentionally invite older, long-term members to attend the new members class.
Whenever you offer something for women new to Christ or just new to your church, be sure to have older women present. It’s encouraging to see women who have walked strong in faith for years, and it will be a great refresher for those who have not had attended a basic class for a while.
2. Include testimonies.
Women love stories. Seeing God work through a variety of experiences helps women get to know each other. And it provides connecting points for women in similar circumstances.
3. Start a cross-generational prayer ministry.
Pair older women with younger ones to pray for each other. What a fabulous way for women to see the needs of each other and to follow-up on each one. Sharing answered prayer allows each one to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of women.
4. Create a “grandparenting” ministry.
You may have grandmothers who never get to see their own grandchildren. Perhaps they would love be a part of a young family. Encourage older women to be available to love on these families and get some great hugs in as well!
5. Start a mentoring program.
Mentoring goes both ways no matter the age. Model what that looks like as you encourage women to seek our women in other generations to learn from as well as to share their own wisdom.
6. Develop multi-generational small groups.
At times small groups need to focus on a stage or age of woman. In addition, you must find ways to connect various generations as you study the Word and do ministry together. Intentionally offer some groups that span all ages and spiritual levels.
7. Do social ministry and servant evangelism.
Many younger women are ready to “do ministry” outside the church. At times they need resources, prayer and a little direction from women who have served before. Allowing various ages of women to plan ministry outreach, all involved will see how each other’s gifts are needed to reach the community for Christ.
8. Enlist a young leader to oversee the senior adult women’s focus.
Instead of only older women reaching older women, how about including young women who have a heart for ministering to and learning from senior women? Imagine the blessing for both!
Scripture tells us over and over in Psalms that one generation will teach the next. And in Titus 2:3-5, women are specifically told to teach those who come behind us. What are you doing to connect your women and bridge the generation gaps? What else would you add to this list?