Over at M Squared T Blog, Matthew has a couple of great posts about connecting folks with God across generations.
I would add the following to reasons why intergenerational worship, I would widen the thought to intergenerational communities of faith, is so danged important.
I believe it would help retain some of the fallout that the church experiences of the 18-25 year old demographic. In other words, it may help solve the "okay I'm too old for youth group but too young(or too bored or too whatever...) for anything else" mystery. We ask students to go from an environment of sometimes barely controlled chaos to a shall we say "more subdued" Sunday Morning experience. Making Sunday morning the primary worship experience for all ages would provide some contituity. In order to effectively engage a wide span of generations could take considerable retooling of the worship experience. That might not be a bad thing either?
(Let me preface the next reason with this; I acknowledge that there is much more at work in the emerging conversation than a generation gap. With that said....) The seeker movement grew out of a generation's discontent with their parent's way of doing church. The emergent movement has grown out of generations' discontent of their parents' way of doing and their lack of being church. 18-20 years from now, I can easily see, another upheaval, grown out of yet another generation's discontent with the current manifestation of church. Being church across generations, truly being church across generations, including people of all ages in everything from music to teaching to leadership to service has to minimize the generational discontent. If up and coming generations of Christ-followers are allowed, and encouraged to provide input into their communities of faith they will shape a future they will be more than content with.
I'm sure there are more great reasons to create truly intergenerational communities. I 'd love to hear 'em....
The reasons for bringing the generations together are many so are the questions....
How do we, not only include but empower, younger generations to participate and shape church?
How do we make these changes at a deep level not just on the surface?
How do we challenge and encourage the more mature generations to invest what they have to offer (which is an incredible amount) in the younger generations?
How do we challenge and encourage the more mature generations that they can indeed learn from someone half their age?
Where is it appropriate to include younger followers in leadership discussions?
How do we prepare a community that lives in an age-segregated society for a change in age roles within the church?