Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

7600 Cahill Avenue, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 651.451.6225 Get Directions

Intergenerational Ministry

Reasons for Using the Large Group Model of Education

If perhaps you are wondering why we chose our current large group-learning model over other models such as the rotation model or individual classroom model, here is some information to help answer this excellent question.  This is a summary that your Inter†Gen team has gathered from current research.

  • In the recent past, churches began providing special programs that separated children and youth from adult members thinking that this would be the key to developing strong faith in young people.  However, this was found not to be the case as many young people began leaving the church.  Now research has shown that an important key to growing faith in people is not through dividing people by age groups but by combining them to build positive relationships.  This includes relationships with people of all ages – classmates, older or younger children, youth and adults from young to elderly.  When several positive Christian relationships are formed during childhood, the more likely faith will last throughout one’s lifetime.  This is our main goal – to provide learning and experiences for our children that will last and keep them returning to worship for their entire lives.
  • Therefore, we are basing our Inter†Gen programs on ‘Intentional Intergenerational Ministry’. In order to best meet this blending of young people’s enthusiasm and older people’s wisdom, we have chosen this large group model of classroom teaching. This is actually closer to the successful way that teaching was done in Biblical times as families learned and worshipped together at the same time. Currently at Good Shepherd, we are in the beginning stages of Intergenerational Ministry.  It takes many years to develop a comprehensive program.
  • The large group model that we are using is the best education model that we have at this time to blend age groups for faith growth. This model also enables us to include experiential learning that is directly related to our Bible lessons.  In other words, most people and children learn best by “doing” so we provide hands-on or drama type learning experiences.  In addition, we are able to give kids the opportunity to become comfortable leading in Sunday school classes to prepare them for eventual leading of worship in the sanctuary.
  • Accolades to all of you who are involved in our Relational Inter†Gen programs! Studies have shown that key adults are the number one influential person(s) in growing faith that “sticks” with their children. Other ‘relational’ adults and youth helpers are also extremely important in this faith process.  This is why we have invited parents, grandparents and other adults to our classes.  We also encourage adults and youth to help with ministry events. Studies have shown that it takes 5 faith mentors for each child to develop their faith.