At Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Ottawa, Ontario, church families with teenagers have been gathering on Sunday mornings before church for breakfast and Bible study.
Leaders of Calvin CRC had been struggling for some time to get youths to attend Heidelberg Catechism studies, and the church also desired to promote intergenerational activities, so they decided to combine the two.
Using Faith Alive materials such as HC and ME, The Seven Deadly Sins, and Walk With Me, participants have been encouraged and challenged to grow spiritually within the context of their families.
Some families have found the learning curve steep. One family said the intergenerational Bible study had been hard on them because they realized they do not talk to each other very much about spiritual matters.
Although the target group is teens and their families, other family groups have also been involved. Kids as young as age 8 have been attending, as well as college-age young adults. Grandparents have also joined the Bible study with their grandchildren.
The organization of the study makes it favorable for families to commit to it. The sessions run four times a year, for four weeks at a time, so families who can’t make it to one session can join another one.
Ron Hosmar, pastor of youth and congregational life for Calvin CRC, said the intergenerational Bible study is “an important deviation from what’s been happening in the past” and that he’s confident the benefit of doing Bible and catechism study in family units will have a lasting impact.