Just about every women’s ministry in the country wants to know the answer to the question, “How do I get all the different generations involved and working together?”
While there is no set answer or perfect program, I’ve learned and seen some things over the years that can increase our chances of bridging the generational gap in women’s ministry. Join me in keeping the following items in mind as you plan for the coming year:
Model It — Identify some leaders in each generational segment and spend time with them. Encourage these women to rally their peers to branch out and get involved in the work of the ministry. Discuss with them how best to inspire others their age to branch out.
Share the Vision — Paint a picture for the ladies of what ministry could and should be like if we were all working together to reach the lost world. Dream a dream with them of how each others’ strengths can build up the Kingdom in general. Take advantage of opportunities to teach women to have a ‘we’ mentality not an ‘us vs them’ mentality and to focus on the positives about the other groups. Remind ladies that it’s not about trying to turn the other generation into them — they’ve got that covered. It’s about leading them to use their unique giftedness to do what God has called them to do. It is time for the older women of the church (yes, that’s us over 40) to free the younger women up and unleash the Holy Spirit in them to do what only they can do as we do what we are called to do. Together ,we can reach so many more for the Gospel.
Provide Opportunities — Be intentional about planning. Offer fun, challenging, fulfilling events that include inter-generational interaction. This can happen in the way that you assign tables or pair people together. If you have an event where women sit at tables, then provide questions or topics for them to respond to that will embrace different ages and stages.
Celebrate — Whenever you have the chance, celebrate and tell the stories of life change that happens across generations. Try to include both perspectives and make a big deal out of the relationships that develop. You can do this type of celebration live at events and gatherings, or you can tape short videos that tell neat stories and post them to a social media page or send as an email. When women see how someone like them was blessed be reaching out across generational lines, they will be looking for ways they can get involved as well. My husband always says it this way: “Celebrate what you want repeated.”
As you implement the ideas above, be sure to keep the end-goal in mind. The reason we aim to bridge the generation gap is to fulfill the commission given us in Titus 2. Remembering this will provide the passion and heart we need to bridge the generation gap.
Share With Each Other: If you have ideas to bridge the generation gap, leave them in the comments below!