The phrase “all generations” is used 91 times throughout the Bible, indicating the significance in intergenerational faith, according to Christian author Howard Vanderwell.
Dudley Chancey, professor of Bible and co-founder of Intergenerational Faith Center (IFC), said he is interested in the Biblical aspect of intergenerational ministry within the church, and that it is important for students to be involved as well.
“From a student perspective it would be important because we are required – commanded – by God to pass our faith on to our children,” Chancey said.
Because of the Biblical idea of “all generations,” the IFC brings speakers pushing churches toward ministry involving all ages to Oklahoma Christian University, like this year’s John Roberto.
According to Chancey one of the foundational words of the center is ‘intentional.’
“Intentional intergenerational ministry is when you intentionally have the older people teaching the younger people and you have the younger people serving the older people and you have the people in between doing both,” Chancey said. “Everybody is doing things together intentionally.”
According to its mission statement, IFC began in 2012 in order to “assist and equip families and faith-based institutions in family and congregational spiritual formation through applied practices borne out of current, relevant research and practice.”
Roberto, president of LifelongFaith Associates, is this year’s keynote speaker for The Dialogues. In previous years, speakers have included Gabe Lyons, David Kinnaman, John Westerhoff and Holly Allen.
Along with his position at Lifelong Faith Associates, Roberto is editor of the “Lifelong Faith” journal, Faith Formation 2020 coordinator and is project coordinator for Vibrant Faith Ministries’ Faith Formation Learning Exchange. Roberto has also authored several books and publications.
“That’s his expertise kind of, how do we connect the generations and keep that going in our churches, the spiritual formation of children basically,” Chancey said. “It’ll be interesting to have him on campus.”
The IFC Dialogues begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 in Adams Recital Hall at Oklahoma Christian. No registration or ticket is required for attendance. However, Chancey said he encourages people to arrive early, as seating is limited and first come, first serve.
“Roberto’s… he’s probably more of a practitioner than an academician and so I’m excited about him coming because he can give our churches and our people and our parents, students ways to do intergenerational ministry,” Chancey said.
For more information on IFC, The Dialogues, past speakers or John Roberto, visit Oklahoma Christian’s website.