Diversity in Ministry Part II – Age

In part 1 of this series, I began a conversation about the need for intentional diversity in ministry. I explored the ways in which we could encourage people of different gifts and talents to join forces to more effectively serve the Lord.

Diversity is a word that is being used often today in various contexts, but I will continue to focus on only a few areas where we can work to improve our ministry in America.

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What kind of Diversity?

Ministries in America could benefit from a greater and intentional diversity of age of target audiences. I’m aware that this could present a daunting challenge ahead of parishes because many ministries are built around segregation of ages. This is most notable in religious education that often mimics the scholastic grouping of grades by age, but it’s seen throughout the parish in other ways as well.

I’m not advocating for an outright revolution in formation for children, but it’s worth looking at how we can learn from the Montessori method that mixes ages. The mixture isn’t very drastic, but it allows for children to be younger and older than other kids as they go through the program to live in different relation to students as they grow. Studies have shown that there are many benefits for children to have a mixture of younger and older children around them to develop relational skills later in life.

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