Connecting through Intergenerational Community

Intergenerational community can be the family that the lonely people in our churches need.

When God created the family He wanted an expression of Himself; He wanted His image to be reproduced in unity and harmony. God Himself is community, Father Son and Holy Spirit, relationally communing and flowing together. When God created Adam and Eve, He wanted a reflection of Himself. (Gen 2) Had they not sinned, Adam and Eve's family would have been the community with which God would have lived and felt at home.

As I see it, this was His foundational community, His creative DNA! That value on family is unchanging in the Word of God; it is a "qualification" for leadership in Timothy. (1 Tim 3: 4-5) Churches say they believe in family, they even call themselves family, yet have no place where family together is discipled to "Love God, love one another, and love those who are lost to Jesus." Family itself is an intergenerational word that we so often use in a peer setting! This desire for family to be experienced multi-generationally can be heard when married couples say that they want children.

When God set His people Israel in order, he placed each individual within a family, each family within a tribe, and each tribe within the nation. No generation was excluded, no child left out, no older person put aside. They did not create children's tribes … the child was with his parents! Within each tribe were the components of family: they were community. God's community!

In Psalm 68:6 we read that "He sets the lonely in families." Sometimes we have read that as meaning the whole church congregation is one family. This can scarcely ever be true, because a family should be small enough for you to feel special and loved. The small group/cell can provide that environment; it embraces 'the solitary'. Solitariness is isolation ...

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