Book review - Being an Intergenerational Church

9 July 2024

Book review - Being an Intergenerational Church Image

Embodying Christ to one another and discovering flourishing together  - a review of "Being an Intergenerational Church" by Suzi Farrant and Darren Philip

As we find fewer and fewer young people engaging in our communities of faith, there is an increasing sense of urgency to identify how this trend can be rectified. Being an Intergenerational Church: Practices to Bring the Generations Back Together by Suzi Farrant and Darren Philip is an excellent exploration of how and why this trend has occurred, as well as a companion to help explore what might help correct it.

From the outset they identify that this is not about asking questions of how we fix the situation, thus looking to programs or employees to solve the problem, but rather questioning who we want to become: those who make real the living presence of Christ to each other.

They suggest that as communities of faith re-orient themselves to this task of being a place where individuals rest in each other, and find Christ in each other, the church returns to its unique and intended purpose in the world as God's people of restoration.

Exploring this in their context of the Church of Scotland, which has a lot of similarities to our experience in the Uniting Church, they identify that when a congregation brings various generations together in mutual serving, sharing and learning within the core activities of the church, through intergenerational ministry, they are able to live out being the body of Christ to each other and the wider community, enabling transformation to take place.

To do this, they highlight a number of practices that communities of faith can undertake to embody this way, giving particular focus to humility and hospitality as key transformational practices. By creating hospitable space for others to be themselves and encounter openness to learning together, opportunity is created for Christ to be present and transform both the individuals and the wider community of faith.

They then go on to explore how being ground in these practices impacts other aspects of the church including discipleship, worship and "innovation". Through numerous stories they illustrate how they have seen congregations transformed as they have embraced these practices and this way of being.

I would strongly encourage you to get a copy of the book, as I believe that this is one of the most helpful and thought-provoking books inviting the church to return to who God has made us to be as those who embody Christ to each other and to the world. If you would like to borrow a copy, we have a number available and Trinity College also has a copy available for loan.

Regardless of whether you've read the book or not, we'd love you to join us online from 7-8pm this Wednesday, 10 July as we discuss this book and what it means for our communities of faith at this time.

If you would like further information about book reviews, please contact Paul at

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