Intergenerational Relationships in the Church—

This year will be my tenth year getting to serve with my church family in children’s ministry. As more time goes by, I see over and over how I can do nothing without Christ and without my church family. The body of Christ is powerful! Can I be frank with you? I am not creative. I don’t have a background in early childhood development or elementary education. I don’t have great skills in recruiting volunteers or coming up with policies. I struggle as a parent  but I love my job with my church family. I love how CDM reminds us that children’s ministry is not a one-person job. It takes a team. When I think about this, I cannot help but to think of how Jesus allows it to be this way. He allows the need to be there for relationships.

As I type this post, we have a team of people getting our VBS underway. I read through a thread of emails recently and saw not only the beauty of relationships, but also the gifts and talents He gave coming out through different people. One of my favorite sayings is “This is not my gift.” It is so helpful for me to acknowledge this and be reminded that God had a plan in how He designed us with different gifts and talents (Romans 12:4-8. These are used to build up the body of Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Another thing from CDM for which I am grateful is how they remind us that our church culture is special within our own church and things can look different from church to church. Something we noticed at our church a couple of years ago was how our girls who were transitioning from children’s ministry into youth group didn’t really know each other well. We wanted to connect them and allow for them to spend time together and grow in relationship with God and with one another. From this desire began a group we call “Girls Get Together.” Girls, 4th through 8th grade, come and gather once a week in the spring, and we do crafts together, have Bible study, snack, hear someone’s testimony, and pray together.

God in His goodness transformed our Girls Get Together Bible study into a multigenerational study. We reached out to different women in our church family, personally asking for their help. We have been so blessed by the gifts and talents of the women in our church who did different crafts with our girls, taught our girls, shared their testimonies with our girls, baked for our girls, and some women came each week to help and walk alongside our girls. Some of our youth came and shared their testimonies with our girls, and on two special nights two of our very own girls shared their testimonies, too. I love seeing the relationships form and build. Our girls will also invite their friends to come Our children’s ministry director began reaching out to men in our church, and now there are gatherings for our boys as well.

This all happened because of God’s goodness, His perfect plan for relationships (Psalm 107:1), and His perfect way of gifting people differently. Getting to see intergenerational relationships form in our Girls Get Together Bible study was a huge encouragement to me. One night as one of our women shared her testimony with our girls, and she felt nervous and one of her hands was shaking. One of our girls shared with her, “That happens to me too when I get nervous.” The woman who shared told me how much that had meant to her. Each week when a woman shares her testimony, our girls ask questions and get to know our women better.

One of our women who taught our study one evening shared how it was her mother’s birthday, and she loved to think of her mother and how she reflected attributes of God in her life. She baked cupcakes for our girls that night and shared how much it meant for her to share that day with us. I love seeing our girls engaging with each other and enjoying relationships with each other and also with women in our church. I hear women in our church share how much fun this Bible study is and how much they enjoy being with our girls. I love that our girls feel connected more to their church family and how they invite their friends to join in too! It is a privilege to get to enjoy this time together!

Michelle Hilton lives in Indian Trail,  NC and feels blessed to serve her church family at Church of the Redeemer.  She has worked in children’s ministry for her church for 10 years assisting the children’s ministry director and serving as coordinator for “In His Image”, a ministry to individuals and families touched by disability.