A Vision for Intergeneratioal Ministry
First Presbyterian Church, San Angelo
“Scripture presumes that faith formation occurs within intergenerational, familial, and community settings.” Both the Old and New Testament testify to the focus of intergenerational relationships in faith formation. In the Old Testament, “when Israel gathered for important events-even critical moments-all the generations were present.” Just to name a few: Moses’ farewell address (Deut. 29:10-12); during Jehoshaphat’s reign (2 Chronicles 20); and in the feasts (Exodus 12: 26-27). In the New Testament, “first century churches were multigenerational entities, with children present for worship, healings, [and] prayer meetings.” Just to name a few: Paul’s letters addressed all ages (Ephesians 5:22,25); Jesus embraced children (Matthew 19:13-14); and Lydia and others baptized households, not just adults (Acts 16:15 and Acts 16:33). The Bible assumes faith formation occurs not in isolation, but in community.
With this in mind, FPCSA understands the integral role of adults in the development of adolescent faith longevity and the role of youth in the discipleship of adults. According to Reggie Joiner, “The average church only has 40 hours in a given year to influence a life.” In contrast, Joiner points out that, “The average parent has 3000 hours per year to influence a child.” Understanding the important role of family in the faith development of youth, FPC seeks to create a discipleship environment for youth and families, partnering with families as they disciple their own children.
In addition, we recognize the importance of Godly adult friends in the faith development of our youth and adults. According to Fuller Youth Institute research, youth involved in intergenerational relationships and worship more easily join a church community in college, thus providing these students with a sticky faith. As a result, FPCSA actively seeks to become intergenerational as a church. As such, FPCSA envisions a ministry that develops a relational strategy of discipleship that connects with and builds intergenerational bridges in all areas of ministry at First Presbyterian.
Reaching Our Vision
FPCSA seeks to do the following in pursuit of this vision
We will communicate a life-giving Gospel message calling youth and adults into a trusting relationship with Jesus which becomes more alive, abundant, and lasting through obedience and mission.
We will fuel a warm community that builds connections throughout the generations, specifically pursuing 5 adults to 1 youth within our congregation.
We will develop student leadership and discipleship, encouraging high school and college students to lead younger students in Bible study and fellowship activities.
We will honor the reality that parents feel overwhelmed and are not always looking for more programming.
We will offer relational, grace-based discipleship for children, youth, and college-age young adults while also respecting the reality that today’s youth and families struggle with over programming.
We will support families by providing ideas for simple and easily accessible ways to live out Deuteronomy 6:4-7. These simple ideas don’t require programming or church attendance, but simple communication through email, the monthly newsletter, or the pulpit.
We will welcome all ages to lead and participate in worship on Sunday morning.
We will make disciples that make disciples, both youth and adults.
We will develop a holistic approach to intergenerational mission trips.
We will be a community that offers a safe and open environment for expressing doubt and struggles experienced by youth.
We will actively prepare our high school seniors for the next stage of life.
We will be a community that follows up with our high school students as they grow into young adulthood, whether they attend college or seek an early professional career.