My wife and I are attending Northwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, where I am serving as the Interim Discipleship Director. (The pic at right is the Northwest steeple at dusk) One of the things I truly appreciate about Northwest is that it is truly a multi-generational and multi-ethnic church. Seven ethnic congregations worship through Northwest's ministry in five languages.
But I also appreciate the presence of Northwest's multiple generations. The best I can figure, there are at least five, and maybe six generations present at Northwest. At Northwest, our children sit in "big church" with their parents and the student group is all up front. It has been a refreshing experience at Northwest to have 8 year olds darting around after worship and see the approving nods of saints in their 80's who relish having the exuberance and life these kids bring to our church family.
Christianity Today has an excellent article about the importance of multi-generational churches. Here's an excerpt:
Each of us learns and benefits from caring for the old, the sick, the suffering, and the dying, just as we benefit from the vitality that children, teens, and young adults bring. We all have vastly different experiences in life. By existing together in one community, we all benefit. Some of us experienced World War II in the trenches, and others experienced it by playing Call of Duty on our Xbox.
I find it refreshing that the youth group at Northwest is not an appendage to the church, and that the children aren't tucked away in a wing of the church during worship so that they don't bother the "old folks". I love seeing the respect of middle-aged adults for senior saints who have walked the walk that the boomer group is now going through. And I also enjoy seeing the grade-schoolers sitting with their parents in worship, learning how to worship from mom, dad, and the other adults around them. It may not be a cool "McChurch" experience for them, but it's authentic… and cool in its own right.
Click here to read the Christianity Today article in its entirety.