Multigenerational churches and offering plates

October 11, 2014

I’ve been writing recently about the shape of worship in our churches.

First, a piece for Christianity.com about the importance of multi-generational churches:

I recently said goodbye to one of my dearest friends, who taught me more about ministry than anyone else I knew. He recently succumbed to cancer in his early eighties. Until this quick-moving disease ushered Him home, Bill was a font of wisdom about how to do ministry. It was timeless wisdom good for dealing with every generation.

Another of my close friends is a Boomer. I can’t tell you how many lengthy phone conversations I’ve had with Rich over the years, gleaning precious insights on family and church life.

I’ve seen this dynamic played out in church life if the leaders are willing to embrace a multi-generational approach. Churches that worship at the altar of relevance, who are constantly chasing the next trend might be tempted to so vigorously divide ministry into age-graded demographics that they create little churches within their church. However, churches who balance generational needs with a multi-generational dynamic foster a rich, other-worldly kind of body life.

Read the entire article here.

Secondly, I write a piece for Faithstreet about offering plates and why I still like them, even in a digital world:

Ever since I’ve been a child, I’ve enjoyed the passing of the plate in church. Maybe it’s because I had a father who never failed to put money in the plate, in good financial seasons and in bad. Maybe it’s because I’ve been tithing ever since I earned my first allowance. Or maybe it’s because I still feel the joy and the grace of that moment in the service when we stop and say, “We will follow Jesus” Sermons compel us to devotion. Music reflects our devotion. But the offering plate is the moment in the week when we stand up and say, “I’m in. Not just with my words, but with that thing that is so precious to my existence.”

Read the entire article here.