Ministering to the Generations

By David Burman Jr.

The Bible uses many terms to describe the church, including body, flock, people, bride, and building. The church is complex and connected: it is a body and individuals; it is a flock and undershepherds; it has leaders who are also led; it crosses multiple generations. It is the church family. The church is God’s instrument to reach the nations. When a church is generationally strong, it is better equipped to reach multiple generations.

One of the great challenges and blessings in a church family’s life is connecting and ministering to the generations. How does a church family do it? How does it connect, respect, invest in, and challenge multiple generations? How do strangers and loved ones who are grandmas, grandpas, parents, couples, singles, collegians, teens, and children reach out, interact, worship, grow, and serve together? How does a church balance independence and dependence? Can it reach one generation without alienating another? How do the generations stay connected while having many differences and interests?

I enjoy the privilege and challenge of pastoring a wonderful church family. My church family has great kids who bring life and energy, exciting young people who are learning to love the church family, passionate young adults who want to live for the Lord as they find their way in this world, frantic and fun couples and families who are living life at 100 miles per hour, not-done-kicking retirees who still want to give and serve, and church leaders who are some of my greatest friends.

The following thoughts are lessons learned (well, still being learned and relearned) from my experience in the church and from growing up under, serving with, and observing many wonderful pastors.