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Understanding Generational Differences: Recent Resources for the Worship Planner's Bookshelf

The following list of resources is a small sampling of the growing library available on the broad topic of understanding the various generations who worship in our churches. Some of these books could be added to your resource library, others could be read and discussed in a worship committee setting. All are available from Faith Alive Christian Resources (www.FaithAliveResources.org; 1-800-333-8300). For an additional bibliography of books on this topic, visit the website of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (www.calvin.edu/worship).

Books to Aid in Understanding Generational Differences
Carroll, Jackson W., and Wade Clark Roof, Bridging Divided Worlds: Generational Cultures in Congregations  (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002). 272 pp. $23.95.

A helpful book—particularly the epilogue, which gives the “blessing and bane” of various types of generation-specific churches. The authors argue for an intergenerational church as being the best testimony of our beliefs, though they admit that such a church does not come easily.

McIntosh, Gary L.,
One Church, Four Generations: Understanding and Reading All Ages in Your Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2002). 248 pp. $16.99.

An excellent overview of the various generations we find in the church.

Rendle, Gilbert R., The Multigenerational Congregation: Meeting the Leadership Challenge (Bethesda, MN: The Alban Institute, 2002). 150 pp. $18.00.

Helps worship leaders understand the generations they are leading and the dynamics caused by the presence of multiple generations in the church.

Books For and About Older Adults Gentzler, Richard H., Designing an Older Adult Ministry (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 1999). 96 pp. $12.00.

Suggests ways to develop and strengthen ministries with older adults. Includes information about the needs and life issues of older adults; tools to help congregations evaluate their current situation; models for ministry with older adults; and suggested resources.

Webb, Marie White, Building a Ministry for Homebound and Nursing-Home Residents (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2003). 64 pp. $8.00.

Designed to equip people for ministry with older adults.

Books For and About Youth Buchanan, Aimee Wallis, Bill Buchanan, and Jodi B. Martin, Making Worship Real (Louisville: Geneva Press, 2001). 133 pp. $16.95.

Gives a short explanation of each part of a worship service and then offers several game/ activity options to use in teaching the topic.

Sytsma, Mary, and Jane Vogel, Sunday Morning Live: How and Why We Worship (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2003). 92 pp. $13.95.

An interactive six-session curriculum for teaching teens about worship. It works well with teaching an intergenerational group of teens and adults.

Books For and About Children Brown, Carolyn C., You Can Preach to Kids Too! (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997). 120 pp. $16.00.

Offers suggestions for how to make the “main sermon” more child friendly. The author offers some valid critique of children’s sermons and also provides helpful advice on how to do them well.

Henderson, Dorothy, 45 Ways to Involve Children in Worship: Ideas for Worship Planners, Worship Leaders, and Parents (North York: The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1997). 24 pp. $5.20.

A helpful list of ideas.