Q: Do we need to run the facilitation day on one day? Could it not be split over two days or run as a series of evenings?
A: The aim of the Facilitation Day is to create an opportunity to gather together, young through to old, this is something that will look different within each church but is an opportunity to begin modelling what it means to be intergenerational. Organising this as a one day event enables all of the church family to be involved
There is nothing to stop you breaking this up into two days or a number of evenings but undoubtedly it will make it harder for people such as the elderly and those with young families to commit to it.
Q: Do you really expect all ages to be a part of the facilitation day?
A: The easy thing would be to run the day with children who are at the top end of Key Stage 2, 10 and 11 upwards, almost ignoring the younger children due to them not being able to ‘engage’ in the same way. Part of the power of the facilitation day that is already being seen as churches engage with the resource is to have all ages present. Babies crawling on the floor, young children part of the groups, even if they can’t understand and answer all the questions.
Q: How can we work through all the questions in each of the sections, there isn’t enough time?
A: In each of the 20 minute group sections, where the 8 questions are to be worked through, rather than all the subgroups beginning with question 1, give each group a different number to start from. This way all the questions are more likely to be covered. In an ideal situation it would be great for everyone to look and address every question, but it’s better than all areas are covered by some of the groups, rather than questions being missed out.
Q: How do you use the Children’s sessions with different aged children?
A: Being aware that the way you connect and communicate amongst four year olds is different to the way you would amongst nine or ten year olds, there is the need for those within churches to take the children’s sessions and apply them to their situation. Each of the session follows a similar pattern, Welcome, Game, quick quiz, bible story, thought, activity, prayer response and finish. It is about taking the session and recognising both the key teaching elements and the opportunities for input from the children then adapting it so that it works work in your current format.
Q: Why aren’t the teaching discussion session’s written to be worked through all-ages together?
A: There is nothing to stop churches deciding to look at all of the six areas covered by the teaching discussion sessions within an all-age context/meeting. However, It was felt that different voices and opinions would be able to be heard and the issues worked through at different levels, if the age-groups are split.
Q: This seems very youth and children focussed. Could it not also apply to other groups within church i.e: elderly or young adults?
A: “Today…not tomorrow” comes as a response to the situation facing the church in terms of the number of children and young people leaving and the challenge in terms of how we encourage young disciples to grow in their faith and share it with the world around them. It is for this reason that the focus of this resource is children and young people although our hope is that it will be a catalyst to churches looking at similar issues regarding other areas of their ministry and generations.
Q: What level of commitment is required in terms of time?
A: In order to fully engage with this resource and to really grapple with the issues of what it means to be a church of all ages, it’s a minimum of two years with an outworking and impact far beyond 24 months.
Q: What comes next?
A: For each church, the next steps will be specific to them, although there will undoubtedly be many similarities. As churches unpack what “Today..not tomorrow” means for them and begin to work out their next steps, we will be sharing these to help and encourage others. Also Arise Ministries are offering direct consultation and support for those churches that want it or linking to those based within the associations who can help in a similar way.
Please do get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have regarding the initiative and how we can see church transformed for all ages.