By Sharon Mager
The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s (BCM/D) Teaching Roundtables are back for 2021. The first, “Preaching/Teaching to Multigenerational Groups,” will feature guest speaker Curtis Hill, the senior pastor of Ogletown Baptist Church (OBC), now over 60 years old, in Newark, Delaware. Hill will share useable hands-on techniques for multigenerational ministry and BCM/D Executive Director Kevin Smith will facilitate the discussion. Participants may choose from two training slots, both offered through Zoom — either from 7 to 9 p.m. on May 13 or from 9 to 11 a.m. on May 15.
As pastor of a multigenerational and multiethnic church in the Newark area, Hill is uniquely suited to lead the roundtable.
“At our last membership class, we had a 75-year-old, a 22-year-old, and everything in between,” Hill said. “And that’s normal. That’s the way it goes at OBC. Pretty soon, we will baptize a 75-year-old and a 15-year-old. I’m encouraged by that kind of thing. That’s my heartbeat.”
During a recent episode of Peculiar People, Hill shared the ups and downs of pastoring such a diverse congregation. Despite the challenges, Hill was emphatic that “being a multigenerational church gives us strength.”
Younger Generation Appreciates “Miles on the Wheels”
The maintenance of this mindset takes commitment from both the older and younger generations. Hill shares this vision with the more senior members of the congregation. “You want the church to be here 50 years after you are gone. And it’s going to take an investment,” he encourages them. He also encourages younger Christians to understand they are not the church of tomorrow. They are the church of today.
“The next generation also needs a hunger for godly men and women pouring into them,” Hill said. “And they do! They appreciate that wisdom from ‘miles on the tires,’ life experiences and getting beat up.”
Hill is thrilled to see mature, older leaders walking alongside younger leaders, encouraging, allowing mistakes, and moving forward.
Using Hymns to Cross-Generational Lines
OBC intentionally crosses generational lines by teaching and singing hymns alongside current favorites. Hill says Christians have sung songs like “It Is Well with My Soul” for over a hundred years and that it brings people together. The church also uses the hymns such as, “Great is thy Faithfulness,” “Jesus Paid it All,” and “Holy, Holy, Holy,” alongside contemporary radio hits.
Sunday school classes and men’s and women’s gatherings are naturally drawing various age groups, another way to encourage sharing between generations.
Hill also discussed talking, teaching, and preaching to older and younger groups and effectively layering messages. Additionally, he emphasized talking to people, getting to know them and their needs and where they are on their spiritual journey.
Hill will share other strategies from a biblical perspective and answer questions about multigenerational ministry.
Smith initiated the roundtables in response to his discussions with leaders who were seeking more understanding in teaching and preaching.
Registered participants will receive a link to access the training and Q&A two weeks before the event.
The cost is $5. For more information or to register visit our website.