Growing in faith together

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8

The gift we receive from the Lord God is faith in his son Jesus. This gift we pass along from generation to generation. We recently attended a church conference in which the speaker told us that she had seven generations in her church. Wow! She has seven generations working together to pass along faith in Jesus to the next generation. They are growing together in faith in Christ. Our relationship with Jesus changes through the years and it is important to share with others even in different generations how your relationship with Jesus Christ is at the current time. We encourage you to be a part of a local multi-generational Christian church to share your own faith in Christ to bless and encourage one another.

GIFT, Growing In Faith Together, is an attitude shift for congregations to do intergenerational activities. Of course, there is worship which we do together. But are there other opportunities in your congregation to do faith life together? Our conference speaker encouraged every activity and every event to have at least two or more generations together. The older generations provide Godly wisdom to the younger ones. And the younger generations provide vitality and openness to child-like faith for the older.

Summer provides us opportunities to gather as many generations as possible to experience faith building activities. Vacation Bible School (VBS) is offered at a variety of churches throughout our communities. VBS is adults and children together playing, learning Bible stories, growing closer to Jesus and one another. There are Christian family camps offered in which the entire family can learn and grow together in a fun natural environment away from home distractions. Other Christian camps offer faith building activities for a specific age, but the staff and counselors are of other generations that share their faith. My own camp counselor, Kimba, at Pine Lake Bible Camp had a significant impact on my personal faith growth because of our study of God’s Word in Romans, she pointed out how God used spiritual gifts to enlarge His Church. Throughout the summer there are Christian concerts available. Many communities and churches have concerts and other special events to provide opportunities for us to gather for fun faith building and energizing activities. We are aware of one happening in a few weeks in Jackson Center. We encourage you to consider taking a multi-generational group to the Community Faith Night concert in Jackson Center on Wednesday, May 29, beginning at 5:30 pm under the large tent downtown. We also urge you to keep your eye out for other events like this. God gives them to us to lift our spirits and encourage us whether we are enjoying good times or challenging ones.

In the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we have a fitting example of how faith is shared and encouraged across generations. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you.” 1:5-6. This faith in Christ Jesus is passed from generation to generation whether we are related by blood genetically or by the blood of Jesus.

We would like to encourage you to be both blessed and to be a blessing by being involved in a local church. You have many options because God is active throughout our communities.

The writers are pastors at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jackson Center.