Parable: Andrew Buck, Director of Cross-Generational Ministries

<Good Shepherd’s staff is continually making connections between their work and our church mission.  These stories, or “parables” are where our life and work connect with God’s mission here. If you have a parable to share, please email the church office. We’d love to hear your reflection!>

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Andrew Buck was asked to come in and do things differently at GSLC in a role that we’ve never had before, and actually that most churches don’t have: Cross-Generational Minister.  We asked him to start with reworking the logic of our youth programming and then expand out to other age groups, which is no easy task.  There’s much to do and much that he could focus on.  But for Andrew, cross-generational ministry keeps his sights on one goal.  “As Cross-Generational Minister, everything we do is about faith-formation through Christ-centered relationships. Whether it’s equipping parents, welcoming children into worship, facilitating small groups or introducing adults in teens’ lives, and vice versa, it is all a catalyst, a means-to-an-end for relationships that draw folks to Christ.”

Drawing people to a more Christ-centered existence through faithful relationships is Andrew’s primary focus and one that he finds grounded in scripture. “Jesus instructed Peter to ‘Feed my sheep.’ (John 21:17) I believe we do that at Good Shepherd. Not only do we feed Christ’s sheep inside the walls of our church, but the sheep we feed, by being fed, feed Christ’s sheep all over Raleigh. Whether it’s faith formation, caring for one another, literally feeding, or partnering with a local non-profit organization, we are feeding Christ’s sheep every single day of the week.”

Whether working with our youth or with other adults, Andrew sees part of his ministry as working himself out of a job.  All ministers should see their work this way.  Equipping the saints to be the church means giving ourselves away for the sake of Christ and the world.  Andrew says it like this, “We build leaders. I’m not afraid to give away areas of my ministry and to entrust youth and adults with real responsibilities with real stakes. When they see what they are capable of doing, they are changed. Christ forms faith through them, and they grow as Christians in the process.”  But this formation takes time, and it takes story-telling to inspire and spread the message.

“I have heard stories from members of our congregation who were at one point skeptical of young children serving,” he said,  “and even being, in worship with adults. Their hearts were transformed when they realized that not only are we welcoming and teaching children to worship, but being served and accompanied by children in worship grows us a Christians, helping us see the image of God more fully.”  This, he finds, is life-changing for the whole community.

And if you’re looking for resources on cross-gen ministry, or are looking to become a resource, stop by his office. “I have a great faith formation kiosk next to my office desk. It looks like a bookshelf, but it only has about ten books on it. The rest of the space is filled with small group resources, blessings, prayer books and cubes (yes, cubes), conversation starters and more.”

Cross-generational ministry is slow-going ministry.  It takes time and intention.  But it’s worth it for this community, and for your home.  If you’d like to know and grow more, Andrew is here to help!