Act Like Men

Men’s Leadership Podcast

#9: “Intergenerational Culture” and Why it Matters

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July 7, 2022

Show Notes

The Need: Churches today are committed to every age group and to developing programs that encourage young people especially to become believers and to stay in the faith as they progress age wise. Why then are so many young people leaving the church when they leave home? Studies show that when a young person has relationships with a minimum of 3 Christian adults, beyond their parents and their youth leader, then the chances of making their parents faith their own, goes up exponentially.

The Reason: Psalm 78: 5-7; gives a promise and a clear path on what to focus on as a family and as a church. Parents: How do we involve our children in multiple intergenerational relationships with adults of faith? Local Church, how do you integrate all ages in your involvement and ministry with your young people?

The Resources: Dr. Chuck Stecker, book Men of Honor, Women of Virtue, provides a clear pathway for men to follow to help them become involved in Spiritual Mentoring at any level with those men around us.

The Result: A fully age integrated ministry with our young people that results in a Transformational Intergenerational Culture within the church for generations to come.

Looking at your family, how can you intentionally involve more generations of faith in relationship with your children?

Looking at church, what generations are involved with your children and youth? Does it need to be intentionally expanded?

What is one person, besides you and your youth leaders that you might get connected with your children or grandchildren?


08;06;39;24 – 08;06;06;10
It’s an exciting privilege today to welcome Dr. Chuck Stecker, Lieutenant Colonel Chuck Stecker to our podcast. Chuck has tremendous background. 23 years in the military raised a battalion part of that part of the Pentagon. I met Chuck in 1994 when he retired from the military and joined Promise Keepers. He and I had different regions, but we worked together and that is really plus our relationship over the years and I’m privileged now to be a part of his board and I am honored to be able to do that.

08;06;05;18 – 08;05;41;27
In 1987, Chuck started a ministry that eventually became a chosen generation and it focuses primarily on intergeneration. His three focuses intergenerational is a big one. Getting seniors off the bench back into the game and then also reaching out to men. And he was a huge minister with men and does a great job. So Chuck welcome to the show.

08;05;41;27 – 08;05;41;00
Good to have you here.

08;05;40;11 – 08;05;35;27
Wendell, thank you. It’s great to be here with you and Dale. I love being with you. Any time I can be.

08;05;34;25 – 08;05;31;08
You’ve got a great background, Dale. You know, Chuck, you’ve known him quite a while.

08;05;30;29 – 08;05;25;24
A long time. I’m in hallowed ground company here with you guys to be here.

08;05;23;11 – 08;05;02;16
Thank you, Bill. It’s great to have you as well. But talk about how these folks are generational today because there’s two or three areas we could focus on intergenerational talk about where that passion came from, how God bursted in you and what what is it you’re doing with it today.

08;05;01;09 – 08;04;36;20
Those are great questions, Wendell. You know, I was thinking about this earlier in my time with the intergenerational goes back to about 1991. My wife and I had launched a a youth group out of a Sunday school class, but it was in that time frame that God put it on my heart to begin a men’s group at the church that we were attending in Burke, Virginia at the time that would include our sons.

08;04;36;12 – 08;04;14;12
And I had this passion that for men and their sons in this process of connecting them with great men, great stories and that type of relationship and so really going back to then, I didn’t really realize at that point where it was leading. I was still in the military and not didn’t see the path that God had for me at that time.

08;04;14;12 – 08;03;44;12
We were heading off to another assignment and thinking we would have another five to seven years perhaps in the military. God would cut that short, bring us the promise keepers. And there were, as you have identified you and I joined up in 1994, but it was out of that that was birth. This desire and we started with rites of passage and again that was based upon this, this spiritual need that I saw to bring our sons through a rite of passage into godly manhood.

08;03;44;01 – 08;03;25;05
There was a lot of help there. Promise Keepers, as you recall, Wendell and Dale, I think you knew James Ryle that was on the board, but he had actually started doing rites of passage for young men in his church and that would lead us to just spiritually feeling that after the first rite of passage that we did that was just young men.

08;03;24;25 – 08;02;55;07
I knew in my spirit that this was something, and I had never been a pastor that belonged inside the local church, not just for sons, but sons and daughters, but it had to encompass the entire community. And that would put us on a path to study rites of passage and then ultimately see that that was to be part of a much bigger picture of an intergenerational church, a transformational culture, intergenerational culture within the local church and that’s where God has us now.

08;02;55;07 – 08;02;54;10
Wendell Dale.

08;02;53;23 – 08;02;32;25
You know, in those in that timing, Chuck, I’m impressed by the fact that you saw the need in the church at that time. It was really churches were confused, and in many cases they were looking to alternative mission or ministries to come into their church and help them but you were saying to them, no, you’ve got the power, but here’s the way to do it.

08;02;31;27 – 08;02;05;08
That’s exactly right. And, you know, some people would think it was strange because I had never been a pastor I loved the local church, loved the local church and have from, you know, since God really began to move significantly in my life. But I think that’s a really good point, Dale, that to see that and I can’t take any credit for it, but this belonged in the local church under the leadership of the of the senior pastor the local ministry team there.

08;02;04;28 – 08;02;04;15

08;02;03;08 – 08;01;54;18
OK, I you’ve got a couple of Bible verses that are really spoke to you on the intergenerational piece you want to highlight at least one or two of those.

08;01;54;01 – 08;01;26;19
Oh, no, that’s a that’s a real easy for me. We launched the Ministry of Choice and Generation of what became a church in a generation in 1997 the following year our first granddaughter was born and I really feel God gave me then Psalm 78 verses five through seven. We’ve identified that in the, in the book that we published for a Chosen Generation, The Men of Honor, Women of Virtue and the chapter on Legacy and the importance of that.

08;01;26;19 – 08;00;59;24
But he says he established a testimony and gave the laws due to Jacob and appointed the laws in Israel and he command it. And I love that coming out of the military, our forefathers, that they should make them known to their children and then that generation would make them known to the next. But then this verse in there that even children yet to be born would arise and declare them and they would put their hope in God, not forgive what He has done, keep his commandments.

08;00;59;14 – 08;00;32;19
And that was really place your trust, remember, and obey the living God. And that has stuck with me. And I feel very foundational of what God has us doing since 1998 when I think God just kind of open that up for me. And that is foundational whether you’re going to lead. You know, we just talked about the difference between living out your legend or God’s legacy, and that becomes the foundational verses for that.

08;00;32;19 – 08;00;20;06
And I just spoke this past week and you know, Wendell and it you know, it’s a legend is what people will remember about you when you’re gone. A legacy is what people will remember about God when you’re gone.

08;00;19;25 – 08;00;19;00
Well said.

08;00;18;18 – 08;00;14;12
And I just want them to remember a lot more about God than they would ever remember about me.

08;00;13;05 – 08;00;12;16
Well said.

08;00;11;12 – 08;00;04;15
Right. So what do you do in the local church? I mean, what does that look like? If I were doing a rites of passage, what would that look.

08;00;04;15 – 09;59;37;12
Like with that again, Wendell, great question. We help the church and facilitate this that one is understanding the need for and then how to successfully engage the next generation through a rite of passage. But that requires the entire church. And one of the things that we’ve got to break down is these walls or barriers or silos that we’ve talked about between the ministries and see that that this is not a youth event.

09;59;37;12 – 09;59;15;01
This is a church event directed at the young people and bringing them and recognizing them as adults. And that’s very important because helping the church understand that the faith of a child is the faith of their parents. The faith of an adult is their own. And one of the key roles that we’ve got to have in the church is helping young people in adulthood find their own faith.

09;59;14;22 – 09;58;47;26
And many of the young people will tell you in order to really be seen as an adult, they have to leave their parents church and that they’ve been, you know, the children and the youth all the way through. And that accounts for this significant loss of young people out of our churches. And we can see statistics very clearly over the years that when we look at young people and they say the ones that stay in the church are the ones that find their own faith in the church.

09;58;47;14 – 09;58;25;08
But, you know, one of the key factors there that they’ve identified in people, in young people is the number of energetic rational relationships they have outside their parents and their youth leaders. And it’s interesting, the kind of the tipping point on that is the number three and so with three course, we just you know, we we look at how the importance of the number three is to God.

09;58;25;08 – 09;57;52;14
So it’s not not that surprising, but it’s one of these geometric progressions, the number of people that we can bring into our to our children’s lives outside of us, in the youth leaders, they connect them to their faith and to the church. And when they hit that number three, additional relationships through serving in the church, experiences in the church and things, that is a very, very significant and that brings us to the point of the crying need we have in our church to bring about a culture that connects young people with other generations.

09;57;50;04 – 09;57;28;00
But that’s a mouthful. Chuck, how does how does that work? Yeah, I can see it working pretty easily in a smaller church because there much more connected. What would you suggest on a larger I don’t know. I’m not defining larger, but what would you suggest for a larger church where it’s more siloed youth go here, the children go here, the adults go here, young adults go here.

09;57;27;02 – 09;56;58;19
You know, that’s a again, window that that nails it. And we found that the targeted church where we’re most effective is kind of that 150 to 450 range. But those larger churches and we’ve had the experience of being in them and they have continued this process. And in a large part of that is helping the leadership understand the need to do something that connects the generations and so we we ask, you know, what are you evaluating?

09;56;58;14 – 09;56;37;03
What are the what are the things that you’re keeping statistics on? Right. Because when you identify those things, you identify what’s important to me. You know, we talk about, you know, some churches, it’s the building, the budgets and the baptisms. That’s the three things they do. How big your budget is, what they’re going to build next, and the number of baptisms, well, that tells you what’s important.

09;56;36;25 – 09;55;57;26
And when you identify those that so when you identify and say intergenerational relationships we want to connect are what we call in the ministry are on core generation. Not real fond of that term senior since I technically became one. But you know this idea of this on core generation connecting and impacting the younger generations. And by the way that doesn’t necessarily mean just down to those teams and students, but we’re seeing people in their thirties, forties, twenties, fifties that are hungry for other people that will invest and be a safe place for them to do life and just process where they’re at.

09;55;57;16 – 09;55;37;03
And it’s interesting, my wife and I just prayed last Wednesday night I think it was Wednesday night, we prayed with a couple and they’re in this twilight season and you know where they’re transitioning. She’s now technically retiring he’s looking at it. And and the prayer was, what do we do and who can help us with that? And here we sit.

09;55;37;03 – 09;55;22;22
You know, it’s people much older and they’re going, Can you help us with this? I mean, there is a hunger throughout the generations for people who won’t believe in them, invest in them, and help shine a light on the path that God has set before. Them.

09;55;22;03 – 09;55;08;12
You know, I don’t think we ever lose our desire to be have a place to have a role, to have a little bit of a level of significance or input into things. And I think that’s what connects these core generation people.

09;55;07;14 – 09;54;46;13
Oh, yeah, you’re absolutely correct. And, you know, one of the things that and Wendell mentioned, this is one of the prongs, if you will, or thrusts of the ministry is, is kind of getting that on core generation. We say on core because, you know, when you’ve had your main performance and you watch great performers, they’re ready for the encore and they come out, they know what they’re going to do.

09;54;46;07 – 09;54;19;12
They realize it’s going to be their best. And this this is probably what they’re going to be remembered for when the concerts over, you know, and the same thing is true in life, I think is to help people understand we’ve got an opportunity for the best on for and the best season of ministry we’ve ever had. But, you know, it’s interesting, just looking back at our own church in the past week, I prayed with a young student that is finishing college and has applied to teach a game and just wanted prayer.

09;54;19;12 – 09;53;52;10
We prayed with a young family that has an 11 year old and a nine year old, and they were talking, how do we how do we develop a Christian family? What do we need to do there? We prayed for this couple over here that is part of soon to be the end board generation. I mean, we’re looking all the way through the generations and they’re all hungry for someone who will believe in them, invest in them, and kind of like, again, shine a light on the path that God has set before them.

09;53;52;10 – 09;53;48;06
And that’s something we need to think about from that intergenerational mentality.

09;53;47;00 – 09;53;12;10
I love the show. Trying to pull those with experience and maturity back into the into the battle, if you will use your military terms, back into the battle and do, as you described what an encore is, do some of the best work ever because they’ve got the experience they’ve got the time, they’ve got the resources, and most of them are hungry to be utilized as well as the people they’re speaking with or working with are so hungry for somebody in their life.

09;53;11;28 – 09;52;41;18
So it’s just a win win win scenario and it does touch the generations to come one final question I’d like us to address and we’ll have you back to talk about the other two prongs of the ministry. But we hear a lot of next gen stuff going on now in a lot of churches as the popular phrase, as opposed to enter generational can you capsulize how you see those differences or similarities.

09;52;40;05 – 09;52;16;10
Again, window that that kind of center that brings you right to the center of the battle that we’re in here? When we when we began studying, researching and putting this together, we see there’s three terms that used for the generational there is cross-generational, multigenerational and intergenerational. We talk in terms of cross. Generational is really a marketing term. We want to create a market share in the next generation.

09;52;16;01 – 09;51;53;29
So we use that. It’s really marketing and there’s nothing wrong with good marketing there because you get what you market to generally multi-generation signal is generally an event or a gathering that draws people from different generations, but there is no intentional connectivity. Take a Broncos game where we’re you know, you’re a block on the field. Everything is center stage, everything is drawn to the goodies.

09;51;53;29 – 09;51;26;20
Whoopi Goldberg says, insist sister act. Want to put butts in the seats. That’s what this is about. Entertain center stage rather do that. Many churches do that and they’ll say, but we’ve got people from all these generations, but there’s no relational connectivity there when we talk about intergenerational, we’re talking about a transformational culture that that creates relationships across generational lines for the benefit of both ends of this thing.

09;51;26;15 – 09;50;58;26
It’s not just one sided. You know, as as this encore generation reaches down and does this, we know this seniors are living longer, healthier lives when they’re connected to younger people. It’s just a medical back, you know, and they’re connected there. And they have those relationships using the term next gen. We’re not really fond of that term because where it’s used very often is to the 20 somethings, to the to the late teens.

09;50;58;26 – 09;50;31;18
In the twenties. And our position is very simple. That’s not the next generation. That generation is here. And we talk about know and very often that it’s reaching, but they forget about the part of keeping and helping them develop their faith and finding their purpose, their destiny and so forth. I just spoke with students down at a Christian college a couple of weeks ago and it was interesting, six young people there and it was literally our granddaughter that was sitting in the midst of this.

09;50;31;01 – 09;50;08;17
She was the only one that would say someone’s had a conversation with me about my identity, my purpose, my destiny, and what God has planned for me to help shape where God is leading me. She was the only one out of there were five other students and amazing young people. Amazing young people. Right. And I gave them an assignment to write.

09;50;08;15 – 09;50;00;08
And the assignment was to take a sheet of paper and start this way. I exist to write those three words, finish the sentence.

09;49;58;26 – 09;49;28;12
That’s great because this has been special. As always, I enjoy working with your joy. I feel part of your ministry and seeing what God does through you. We look forward to having you on again. We’ll talk about the younger generation specifically let you develop that, but we’ll have you back one more time. Talk about men, how how it is you focus on reach men specifically help them with all the things that men need direction and help with as as all three of us do as well.

09;49;27;24 – 09;49;23;19
So I appreciate you being here, Bill. Any final comments or wrap up on this?

09;49;23;13 – 09;49;09;23
You know, my my one thought through as Chuck was talking is that churches that failed to really see this, the purpose of what intergenerational ministry can mean are going to struggle in the days and weeks and months ahead.

09;49;08;13 – 09;48;55;26
They are they’re not developing an opportunity for the church to continue. It’s going to be you know, we started at 30 and now we’re 60 increase will be 75 or 80. It will close the doors.

09;48;55;26 – 09;48;50;02
It’s the old it’s the old adage, if you want to have shade, you don’t plan to three in 20 years. You planned it 20 years ago.

09;48;49;28 – 09;48;40;24
Yeah, that’s right. This is actually right. Well that’s, that’s a great, great closing thought. Thank you. And Chuck, thank you again, Doctor, thanks for being with us. We appreciate it so much.

09;48;40;13 – 09;48;36;06
It’s the world and both of you, thanks for having me on. Wendell Dale, love being with you.

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About Wendell Morton

Rev. Morton graduated from Western Evangelical Seminary with a BA in Religious Education and a Master of Counseling Psychology, Rev. Morton was in full-time ministry for 17 years with both small and large churches. He spent four of those ministry years with Promise Keepers. He was the the US representative to PK Canada – serving on the PK Canada Board.

Wendell also spent 23 years in Corporate America. He built and led sales teams that worked with very small businesses and other groups that worked with Fortune 500 companies. He is gifted at helping identifying the next generation of leaders as well as helping those around him being successful.

Rev. Morton has a passion to help pastors and church leaders build growing churches. Having men come alongside the vision of the pastor, build a dynamic team, create a plan, and execute the model of “each one brings one” has been proven effective for more than 2,000 years. This approach is a great way for every local church in North America to grow while helping men better understand biblical manhood.

About Dale Eudy

As an advocate for ministry to men, Dale Eudy brings a combined background of leadership skills developed in the marketplace along with senior leadership experience in the Church.

Following military service, Dale earned his undergraduate degree and gained valuable systems and operations experience working for two prominent Fortune 50 companies. Responding to God’s leading in his life to focus on leaders in the body of Christ, he went on to complete seminary and served as a pastor for 16 years in a large church in the Denver area and as a denominational leader at the regional and national levels. With his background, Dale knows the heartbeat of the local church.

Dale’s passion is the discipleship (spiritual reproduction) of men. That passion is what drew him to partner with Men’s Ministry Catalyst. In his words, “The simple call of Jesus to follow him and to make fishers of men is the most foundational call in my life.” Using his spiritual gifts of leadership and exhortation, Dale is a great coach and cheerleader for those involved in the arenas of life.

Dale and his wife Kathy live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and serve their home church, Cherry Hills Community Church. They have two grown children and a caring extended family.