At Frontline, we don't believe in faith for a season, we believe in faith for a lifetime. This is why we are unashamedly Intergenerational because Intergenerational ministries and relationships help foster a lifetime of faith. Everything from the way our ministries and staffing are set up to the way we build relationships centers around this principle.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INTERGENERATIONAL?
There is something whimsical and innocent about the faith of a child. It's the kind of faith that hasn't yet been hurt or jaded, the kind of faith that thanks God for the lightbulbs and the doorknobs during dinnertime prayer, the kind of faith that isn't afraid to learn and grow rapidly. Kids ask some of the best questions about faith, kids have some of the most Christ-like hearts towards others, adults can learn what it means to follow Jesus from this type of faith. In fact, in Matthew 19:14, Jesus affirmed the faith of children and He used their faith to teach His disciples what it means to follow Him.
There is something challenging and vulnerable about the faith of a student. For students, middle and high school is a time to challenge faith, to demand more of faith, and to express doubts about faith. This stage in many ways is a faith identity crisis because students realize that they don't want to live out their parents' faith, they want to own their faith. Adults who interact with students cannot have a status quo faith because students demand more of faith than that. Students want the "why" questions answered (Why are you a Christian? Why is following Jesus the best way to live?). Adults can learn from this type of faith. In Luke 2:41-52, we see Jesus as a student stretching the faith of adults by the questions He asked and both generations growing as a result.
There is something to be said about a life well-lived for Jesus. The longevity and maturity of someone from the older generation can teach younger generations what it means to follow Jesus for a lifetime. The faith of older people can teach every generation what it means to follow Jesus through the changing seasons of life. Whether it's a couple who has been married for 50 years mentoring a newly married couple, a grandparent helping a new mom, a senior citizen praying for a student going off to college, or a widow leading a grief share group. Kids and students and adults alike can learn from this type of faith.
WHY BE AN INTERGENERATIONAL CHURCH?
Research shows that about half of students abandon their faith after graduating high school. For us, this number is far too high so we became passionate about faith that lasts a lifetime. While there is no magical formula for lifetime faith, we now know that Intergenerational relationships and ministries play a significant role in people successfully transitioning faith from one life stage to another.
HOW IS FRONTLINE INTERGENERATIONAL?
Being an Intergenerational church is so much more than simply mixing generations. It's an intentional structuring of the church to encourage this dynamic. Simply putting different generations in the same worship space isn't Intergenerational, but getting different generations to interact with each other and be invested in each other is intergenerational. Think about this way, the repeat button on iTunes is putting different generations in the same room while the shuffle button on iTunes is getting them to intermix and invest in one another. So, what does this mean for Frontline?
We believe in age appropriate ministries with Intergenerational opportunities. This is why we have Children's Ministry during weekend services and Student Ministries on Wednesday nights. However, we fully integrate students into our weekend services. During any given service, you will see a number of students serving on the Worship Band, Tech Team, Missions Café, and in our Children's Ministry. Every single one of these are connecting points for Intergenerational relationships. Our small groups, missions trips, and outreach events are all Intergenerational with people of all ages learning and serving together.
Staff from each Intergenerational Department meet regularly to bridge the gaps between generations. For example, Our Children's Pastor is fully invested in Student Ministry and vice versa. Children's and Student Ministry have a unique voice in the church that allows both kids and students to feel like Frontline is just as much their church as it is their parents' church.
RESOURCES FOR LIFELONG FAITH DEVELOPMENT