old and young“This was my favorite women’s event, yet!” exclaimed a 35 year-old woman with 4 children. She was not the only woman who expressed such enthusiasm about the morning.

Picture this:

  • A talk on the topic: Discerning God’s Will for our Relationships
  • A panel of 7 women representing every season of a woman’s life (student, young professional, married without children, married with children, empty nest)
  • Discussion groups, facilitated by women leaders of every age (20 and up)
  • Singing Happy Birthday to our eldest attender who turned 84 that week!

I help to direct the women’s ministry in our church and one of our core values is mixing generations. On this particular morning, we could not have been more mixed and I could not have been more pleased!

The benefit of mixing generations spoke loud and clear.

Vibrant young 20-somethings were inspirational to the more seasoned generations. The older women spoke from experience and conviction. Women in all seasons of life were learning from one another.

Out of curiosity, I invited the women in our church to share their thoughts on mixing generations. Here are quotes from some of our women:

“Because the generations are mixed, when I see women at church who are older and younger than me, I feel a sense of closeness.”   ~student

“I have been encouraged by older women and their commitment to train and instruct the younger generation. Also, God has allowed my experiences of having divorced parents, as well as having transitioned from college to full-time work, give encouragement and hope to women younger than me.”   ~20-something

“I’ve enjoyed learning valuable life lessons from older women who have followed the Lord through their early motherhood years.  And I’ve enjoyed being able to share my own experiences with younger ladies. There’s a natural built-in mentoring that happens with mixed generations.”   ~30-something

mixed gen quote“The mixing of generations offers great and unique perspectives that we wouldn’t all come up with in a group of just 30/40-somethings.”   ~40-something

“It takes me out of my bubble to look beyond the issues and concerns of my stage of life (grown children, marriage issues of a seasoned relationship, aging parents) and makes me aware of the concerns of younger women today.”   ~50-something

“I am encouraged by the spiritual energy that I see in the younger women. It is exciting to see how they are going against the flow of our culture and trusting God for relationships and His provision.”   ~60-something

Of course, mixing generations does have its challenges…

  • Women tend to be more comfortable with other women in their own season and gravitate toward each other.
  • Women of different generations don’t always understand each other and can become critical of each other.
  • Selecting topics that are interesting to everyone and times to meet that are good for everyone can be difficult.

But, too me, the benefits outweigh the challenges, and the challenges can be overcome!

How about you? What do you think?