These are great conversation starters on road-trips (like to Springforth this weekend! See you there if you’re coming!), around the snack or dinner table, while waiting, in small groups…With this list I have in mind generation Y (born between about 1980 to 1990) and generation Z (born between about the mid-1990s to the late-2000s) people in particular (but I’m sure they’d work with other generations too). The questions in this list are sometimes deep, sometimes simple, sometimes fun..because life is all those things and more.
What is one thing you would love to smash with a hammer if you would not get in trouble for it and why?
What movie or TV show have you seen in the last year that you wish all your friends could see? Why?
What kind of world would it be if everyone in it were just like you? Be specific.
Which is greater – riding a ferris wheel or a rollercoaster?
What would you do if you found out today that you won ten million dollars (tax free!)?
If you went to sleep, and while you were sleeping a miracle happened in your life (in the area you need it most), when you woke-up in the morning, what would be your first clues that a miracle had occurred?
What has been one of the most memorable compliments you have ever received?
Which is greater – watching Netflix or going to the movie theatre?
What are 5 things you love to do?
What are 5 things you hate to do?
Who is your best friend right now? What makes you such good friends?
What are 3 things you strongly believe?
What do you think God’s opinion is of you? If you could read God’s mind – what would God be thinking of you right now?
If you had the power to recreate yourself, what are 3 things you would not change?
What are 3 things you will never do?
If you could change anything about church, what would you change?
What makes you feel loved and appreciated?
What are 5 things on your wish list?
How do you best hear from God?
What is the biggest highlight in your life in the last 6 months?
What is the biggest challenge in your life in the last 6 months?
What 5 words would you use to describe Jesus?
If God put you completely in charge of making heaven, what would it be like?
If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be and why?
What story do you enjoy hearing your parents or other relatives tell about something you did or said when you were little?
What is your definition of success? Are you successful by your own definition?
What are your biggest questions about your relationship with God?
What was the greatest achievement you have experienced in your life so far?
What is the greatest misconception people have about you?
Who has been the most outrageously loving person in your life? How did/do they show it?
Enjoy the conversations!
Note – some of these questions have been adapted from “Ministry is Relationships” By cadreministries.com
Sub-groups (These are groups like youth group, senior’s group, children’s ministry, small groups etc.) – The challenge here is to cross pollinate.
Church – The challenge here is to involve, involve, involve as many different generations as possible.
Community – that is outside the walls of our church. The challenge here is to bring along other generations with us.
Sub-groups – Cross pollinate
Invite a senior into youth group to talk about what it was like being a teenager when they were younger. Invite them to share how they came to know Jesus
Invite pairs of seniors to regularly come in and do snack at youth group or in your children’s ministry
Have the Women’s/Men’s Mission Group invite in youth to talk about their plans for Tidal Impact (or other short term mission trip) before they go and then to come back and share their stories when they return.
Have the Senior’s Ministry do something to bless the youth in the church. E.g. Donate money for their summer events, make a special treat…
Have the Youth do something to bless the seniors in their church E.g. Make little packages of road salt to keep in their pockets in winter, make cookies for Valentine’s day…
Invite your sub-groups, of different generations, together for a game show night. Provide a variety of trivia questions that will be a hit with different generations.
When the youth are doing a service project, invite another generation to come in and work on it with them together. E.g. Food drive, making blankets for the women’s shelter, gift bags for the men’s shelter…
Invite different ages into leadership in these sub-groups. Do your youth leaders and children’s leaders represent the different generations – grandparents, parents, young adults, youth…? How could it become more diverse?
Invite a group of children into an adult ministry to share the Bible story they’ve been studying via song, dance, drama or puppets.
Church – Involve, involve, involve
Invite kids to worship freely during your service. Have musical instruments for them to play during worship time.
If you don’t have a children’s program during the service at your church, involve children in the service – allow them to share prayer requests, ask them questions during the sermon, have packets prepared with games and colouring on the same topic as the sermon and/or having interactive elements (sculpting a response, painting a response…). Even if you do have children’s ministry in your church turn some services each year in to truly intergenerational corporate worship involving all ages.
Give youth/children opportunities for leadership in the church – greeting, taking up offering, running the sound equipment, running the computer, leading worship, leading prayer, leading in ministries, giving input on boards, coming up with their own projects and executing it.
Create mentoring opportunities across the generations. You can use Tidal Impact or Mission experiences as an opportunity – invite everyone going on the trip to have a mentor who they meet with before they go to help them prepare and then to share with when they return.
Mix small groups and Sunday School classes across the generations occasionally or all the time.
Turn your “Christmas pageant” into an intergenerational family experience where everyone explores the meaning of Christmas together.
Make sure all the different generations are represented from the platform/stage at your church.
Include all ages in your sermon and devo illustrations. Are your examples and illustrations in sermons giving positive examples from all the generations?
Enable other generations to get to events that are designed to help them grow in their faith. E.g. How can the Senior’s group make sure youth get to Springforth and Tidal Impact? How can the youth group encourage their Mom’s get to the Women’s retreat?
Community – Bring along
Invite different generation to serve together in your neighbourhood – spring clean-up, raking leaves, shoveling, planting gardens, stacking wood, food drives…
Do visits together – bring along a child or youth when you go to visit someone in their home or the senior’s home.
Take along a young adult when you go to get your groceries, especially if they are a college/university student they will appreciate the ride and help. You might even pick-up new snack and meal ideas from each other.
Intentionally make your churches short term mission trips intergenerational.
If you (personally) serve somewhere in the community (food bank, coaching, library…) who, from a different generation, could you invite along to come with you?
Encourage people to get to know each other outside of Sunday services – introduce the different generations in your church community to each other by having a “who’s coming to dinner” Sunday. Have people volunteer to feed people in their home that Sunday, without knowing who will be coming. Have others sign-up to go and eat dinner somewhere. Then mix and match people and generations to share a meal together that Sunday.
On your churches facebook/twitter account, ask interactive questions that invite response from a variety of generations.
What other ideas do you have to encourage connections across the generations?