Understanding generational differences and connecting generations at Grace Memorial Baptist Church
LE3 .A278 2016
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
Many congregations struggle to attract and minister to all age groups. The various generations view church differently and this can create problems in many areas of church life. This thesis project studied one local church to find out what individuals of all ages value within the church. The similarities and differences and new intergenerational activities were arranged in an attempt to draw all ages together and to discover whether such activities are effective ways to provide meaningful interaction among generations in the congregation. Recent literature shows the importance of growing a church of all ages where people interact with those of other ages. There are theological and biblical arguments for emphasizing the importance of passing the faith on to the next generation and for understanding how this can be accomplished in the intergenerational context of family, nation and church. The research consisted of a congregational survey on a Sunday morning followed by two focus groups. Participants were asked how highly each person valued various activities in the church. The results indicated that although in some areas there was agreement among the generations, there were many differences in what the age groups valued. There were also some surprises, one of which was the traditional perspective on worship by many of the young adults in this particular congregation. As a part of the project, intergenerational activities were held and evaluated in term of their effectiveness in engaging the various generational groups. The analysis of the survey and focus group data and the evaluation of the intergenerational events are detailed in the thesis.
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