Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Mark Brown


Discipleship, Intergenerational, Intergenerational Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Generational, Spiritual Socialization, Multigenerational, The Great Commission, Ageism, Emerging Adults, Intergenerational Reciprocity, Social Capital, Generation Gap, Elijah/Elisha Principle, Sunday School, Hybrid model, Connect groups, Intergenerational Discipleship, family ministry.


Christianity | Religion


Some of God’s most prominent spiritual leaders are characterized by their deep intergenerational connections. People like Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, and Jesus and John exemplify it. In this study, “intergenerational” means creating opportunities for intentional dialogue and interaction cross-generationally to foster mentoring and biblical discipleship. This research aims to create an intergenerational model of ministry that will encourage churches to embrace intergenerational discipleship concepts. It is not uncommon for church ministry to seem like silos, with people compartmentalized according to age or phases of life. Silo ministry can hinder individuals from forming generational relationships. Unfortunately, churches have been taught to create learning environments based on age segregation. This conventional way of thinking faces the danger of members behaving more like strangers and less like the family of God. Therefore, this action research thesis seeks to prove that if spiritual socialization is mediated by biblical discipleship throughout generations, a biblically balanced ministry will result. The study involves developing a hybrid model incorporating the most effective aspects of Sunday school and small group settings. This study focuses on altering the format of Sunday school to incorporate participants aged 18 and above in a discipleship class environment. Classes are created where students in these age groups will engage in an intergenerational discipleship environment for learning. Each class term lasts ten weeks, after which new classes will begin. Class rotation allows for meeting new people across generations. Qualitative data were collected from a survey of participants. In addition, a focus group of no more gathered to discuss intergenerational and conventional age-segregated ministries. Furthermore, qualitative data were derived from the researcher’s observation field notes of class time and focus group.

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