One of the best things about a church congregation is the mix of of generations. There is always a great mix from babies and toddlers all the way up to seniors in their golden years. Although there is a great wealth of wisdom and experiences to be shared, sometimes there can be confusion as to how the older generation can reach out to the younger generation. There are many ways the older generation can reach out to the younger women in the church and grow.
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
1. Growth in friendship
In reaching out to the younger women in the church, you can cultivate friendships and grow. There are many unique things each will add to the friendship from each person’s perspective.
2. Growth in prayer
This is an opportunity for both generations to grow in prayer. As you get to know the younger women in your church, you are able to pray for each other more specifically. This is a great way to grow spiritually.You may even want to start your own prayer group online or that meets weekly at each other’s houses.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
3. Growth in skills
You will be able to learn from each other. For example, you may know how to bake but your younger friend may not. She may be really good with computers whereas that may not be your strength. In this, you will be able to teach her how to bake and she will be able to teach you computer basics and surfing the Internet.
4. Growth in perspective
Everyone has a different life story. You may have had a great upbringing in a loving, church going family. Your young friend may have grown up in chaos or abuse or some other perspective altering situation. By having such different experiences, you can discuss it and broaden your perspective from each other’s stories.
5. Growth in comfort zones
You will be able to bring each other out of your comfort zones. It could be something as simple as you're terrified of speaking in front of people and she is uncomfortable around babies. You can work together to help overcome each other’s “fears” and grow together. You can stand with her and give her pointers on her speech and she can join you in the nursery on a Sunday to get over being uncomfortable with young children.
6. Growth as a Mentor
You may be able to mentor a young woman in your church in an amazing way. Maybe she wants to start her own business and she can learn from you. There may be a possibility that she never had a parental figure in her life and you can mentor her to learn to be the best mother she can for her children or possible future children. Another possibility is there is something artistic (writing a book, learning to paint, playing an instrument) that they would like to learn that you could teach them.
7. Growth in fellowship
In meeting on a regular basis for faith, fellowship, and conversation you both will grow in your relationship with the Lord and each other. As your friendship grows, you will both introduce each other to your other friends, which can lead to more friendships and fellowship.
8. Growth in Service
In finding common interests, you may be able to use them to serve in the church together. Get together and have a bake off for the church bake sale. Have a green thumb? Serve together by landscaping the flower beds around your church. Both love children? Serve in the nursery, teach Sunday school, or help with VBS in the summer time.
9. Growth in generation appreciation
Where before you may have kept to your own age group, for fear of not knowing how to relate to a younger generation, reaching out is bound to help you have a better appreciation of them. They are also bound to have a greater appreciation of you also.
10. Growth in encouragement
As an older woman with lots of life experience under your belt, you will be able to encourage the younger generation in a gentle, loving way. In doing this, you will grow in your self-esteem and confidence in knowing just the right words to say.
Do you still have some apprehension about reaching out? Are you more on the shy side? Are you still wondering, “What on earth can I offer to a younger person?” Let’s pray.
Please help me to reach out to the younger women in my church. Help me search myself for the many gifts and talents I have to offer. For our younger generation can be such a mix of blessed and broken. I want to be a catalyst of love, hope, and peace for them. Guide me in the next steps I need to take to make a difference in someone’s life. In your name I pray. Amen.
Carrie Lowrance is an author and freelance writer. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, She Is Fierce, Bon Bon Break, The Penny Hoarder, etc. She is also the author of three books of poetry and one children’s book, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green). She writes her own child care blog at www.freelancebylowrance.com
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Publication date: September 26, 2017