In 2018, Grace launched the Family & Intergenerational Transformation (FIT) team to develop and implement strategies that move us in the direction of our vision for becoming a truly intergenerational congregation. GraceFIT is made up of the Youth/Young Adults Pastor (chair), Connections Director (vice-chair), and 12-15 people from our congregation of various age groups who have a heart to shape and support the changes we will undergo over time.
The very first initiative GraceFIT implemented is called YES! (Youth Experiencing Services). It seeks to include our young people into worship services now, as much as possible. Previously, our “norm” was that children (up to 5th grade) tended to only attend Children’s Ministry classes while adults attend worship services.
Our goal for the longer term is to help young people learn to worship God in an increasingly “grown up” way. We know this culture shift will take time. We also respect parental decisions when it comes to their own children. Thus, the following guideline is NOT written in stone; parents/ guardians are absolutely free to determine the best way to disciple their children!
Nursery – Preschool: Attend Children’s Ministry for full service time.
Kindergarten – 5th grade: Attend Worship Services with parents/ guardians for at least part of the service time, then attend Children’s Ministry.
6th grade and up: Attend Worship Services as a norm; students in confirmation classes would still attend those classes due to the intensive nature of the study.
To implement this, in 2018, GraceFIT developed a small, but meaningful modification to our normal worship service flow, namely to include a spot after the first two worship songs where we pray over our young people. Following the prayer, children can either stay in the worship with everyone else, or exit safely (escorted) to their classrooms.
For those families who choose to have their children worship for the initial songs, and then be released to their classrooms, here is a simple process to follow:
- Check them in at Children’s Check-In.
- Bring them into services with you.
- Release them to their classrooms after our prayer for them during their children’s song.
- Grace personnel will escort them to their classrooms.
Questions? WANT More Info?
Please feel free to reach out to any of the GraceFIT team members (roster coming soon). You can also contact Brian Brinkley ([email protected]) or Sue Montanez ([email protected]) directly, or send your feedback or questions using the following form.
GraceFIT Vision Statement
GraceFIT will drive all aspects of our church to continuously improve how we promote the building of intergenerational relationships that build ever firmer faith foundations for all age groups at Grace.
As such, GraceFIT will:
- educate the church in what it means to be intergenerational, and empower ministries and teams in shaping initiatives and changes that move us in that direction,
- instate new capabilities (e.g., projects, resources, ministries) that intentionally address building intergenerational relationships, and,
- work with leaders to review existing teams/ministries to define potential recommendations for change that includes intergenerational considerations.
This vision aligns with our overall Grace vision as follows (see bracketed comments):
To be an authentic community [inclusive of all people within our community] where people [of all ages] are becoming fully devoted followers of Christ [with faith that is personal and sticky] and taking His love to [all generations] in Tucson and the world.