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Learning and Growing

At every baptism we vow to love, pray for, instruct, encourage, and sustain another member of our church family. But it takes more than just worshiping together to complete this checklist of baptismal vows. Fulfilling these vows requires relationships. Fulfilling these vows requires us to put ourselves in a position where we can know and be known by the children and youth of [our church].

—Annette Ediger, Casting a Vision for Intergenerational Ministry 

In this section you’ll find information and ideas for building on what your congregation is already doing to provide opportunities for people of all ages to “know and be known” by each other, both in small group gatherings and large group settings.

Small Groups

Beautifully chaotic. Simple and sweet. Profoundly moving. When we asked people to describe their intergenerational small groups, these were the phrases they used again and again. Here’s what else they said:

“It would be easier, and maybe I would even learn more intellectually, if I was part of a group that was closer to me demographically. But I don't think I would grow as much spiritually.”

“We see [our children] expressing their faith more openly and honestly and also growing as leaders and disciples of Christ.”

“Even the teens come when they aren't busy doing other things because they know it’s a place where they are loved.”

“We have openly struggled with our faith and testified to God's faithfulness in our lives. This group has been an incredible gift to me.”

Christian faith-based intergenerational small groups are as unique as the people who form them and who are formed within them. But what they have in common is a desire to be God’s family to and with each other. Many also include the following during their time together:

  • a meal or simple refreshments
  • icebreakers (lighthearted questions that all ages can answer)
  • music (adults, teens, children may take turns leading and/or selecting songs)
  • Scripture reading or a Bible story (perhaps using a children’s Bible storybook)
  • discussion/conversation (for which the children may or may not be present)
  • prayer (which often includes praying for each other)

Wondering what an intergenerational small group could look like? Meet eight of them here:

Looking for tools to help cast a vision for intergenerational small groups in your church? Read the post 6 Compelling Reasons for Having Intergenerational Small Groups and check out Effective Intergenerational Small Groups, a bundle of resources available for purchase from and which contain introductory articles on intergenerational faith formation.

More Ideas

  • Faith5 is a simple five- step family devotional guide that can easily be adapted for intergenerational small group use. One small group member told us that the “sharing highs and lows” part of Faith5 has been particularly meaningful in their group when children and teens are present, especially at their Christmas gathering when they use it to reflect on the past year.
  • This blog post contains A Simple Format for Including Children in Small Groups. 
  • Storypath is a useful site when searching for appropriate children’s picture books to read instead of or in addition to Scripture.
  • The #talkjustice blog features ideas, information, and questions to jump-start conversations with children (and all ages) about issues such as racism, hunger, disabilities, and more.
  • The Faith Storytelling toolkit contains ideas for sharing faith stories with all ages. One of the great tools you’ll find inside is Story Starters, a list of open-ended conversation questions.
  • What’s Old Is New Again: Experiencing Community at Kitchener CRC describes how a church with 800 attendees developed intergenerational geographical communities. 
  • Visit our Intergenerational Learning and Growing board on Pinterest for many inspiring ideas.

Large Groups

Church picnics and potlucks. Funerals and weddings. Mid-week ministry programs and worship. These are examples of events in the life of a congregation at which two or more generations gather. In each of these events there are opportunities, both planned and unplanned, for building relationships and nurturing faith.

In this section you’ll find resources you can use to build your own intergenerational large group experiences, including free intergenerational events on the Lord’s Prayer and the Lord’s Supper. You’ll also find stories about the ways in which CRC churches are being intentional about large group learning and growing across generations. We hope their ideas inspire you as they have inspired us.


  • In addition to describing the benefits of intergenerational learning, the online resource Faith Formation Across the Generations includes a list of eight practical ways to integrate intergenerational learning into what your congregation is already doing.



  • One Bread, One Cup, One People is a free downloadable intergenerational event on the Lord’s Supper.
  • WE is a series of intergenerational events from Faith Alive on Advent, the covenant, Easter, creation, the exodus, the tabernacle, and more. Learn more by watching the WE Overview video.
  • The Lord’s Prayer is a free downloadable intergenerational event that includes ideas for stations on each section of the Lord’s Prayer.
  • GenOn Ministries offers excellent resources, curriculum, and support for intergenerational ministry in churches of all sizes. Their signature program is LOGOS.
  • Faith Inkubators designs resources to help congregations “create a time and space where people of all generations come together in faith.”
  • This Intergenerational Advent Event from the Reformed Church in America includes ideas for worship.
  • With Two Intergenerational Christmas Participation Stories you’ll discover two ways to engage all ages in a telling of the Christmas story.
  • Illustrated Ministry creates and sells jumbo-sized posters that are perfect for group coloring (during which some of the best conversations happen!).
  • The Intergenerational Activities Sourcebook includes excellent icebreaker questions, a Getting to Know You card game, and activities for all ages.




Photo by Peter Dutton/Flickr