Many Unitarian Universalist congregations and communities are embracing multigenerational ministry. When we say multigenerational ministry, we are talking about a ministry that brings all of our people together, regardless of age. We are talking about a congregational life where all are welcomed, included, and encouraged to lead and participate at any age. Multigenerational ministry brings the ages together to minister to and with each other….children, youth, young adults, emerging adults, the middle aged, older adults and elders. It calls for a whole community, not fractured or siloed by age.
Multigenerational? Intergenerational? What’s the difference?
Both of these terms have been gaining traction in our congregations in the past 5-10 years, and we wonder if they mean the same thing, and if not, which one do we use? Intergenerational typically refers to interactions between people of two different generations: a teacher working with a child in a Religious Education class, a Baby Boomer minister offering pastoral care to a Gen X parent, a young adult working with a grandparent in a mentor/mentee relationship. These are all great, and we need these intergenerational connections as well as multigenerational connections (among 3 or more generations) to help our congregations thrive.