Sunday morning after church, 82-year-old Margaret Zigterman watched as a young child drew a picture of the Old Testament tabernacle. “To see his creativeness as he was illustrating that,” said Zigterman, “it was refreshing to me.”
First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colo. recently completed a yearlong sermon series on the Old Testament. After each service, the attendees would split into groups of 15 to 20 to delve further into the Word. The groups were intentionally created to include people of all ages.
“First Church’s emphasis on being an intergenerational family is one thing that makes us unique. It has been part of our identity. We see it as a value to be preserved and strengthened,” said Nancy Waanders, worship coordinator.
Using Michael Williams’s book How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens as its foundation, the curriculum was written by Waanders and Shirley VanHeukelem, outreach coordinator.
They used activities to engage folks ages 6 through 86. “We walked through the Red Sea, we judged the Judges, and even played dodgeball to experience being persecuted,” said Kay Alsum, another attendee in her 80s. “The last session was a quiz bowl, which brought out the competiveness in us all, especially the young.”
The groups were facilitated by the elders and deacons of the church and by other trained volunteers.
The younger generation was just as encouraged by the interaction as the older folks. “I got to know the older people in our church in a different way, on a more personal level,” said Erin Waanders, age 16. “I thought of them a lot differently after that.”