Struggling to talk to someone in church from a different generation? This card game might help
by Tan Huey Ying // September 15, 2023, 1:41 pm
“Participants discovered that they have more in common than they initially thought,” say the creators of the Uniting Generations (UG) card deck. They hope to grow church unity through building stronger intergenerational relationships within the community. All photos courtesy of Eileen Lau and Benjamin Huang.
At an online prayer meeting in 2021, Ben Huang and Eileen Lau marvelled at the unusually high participation and camaraderie displayed among members from different generations.
Through animated conversations, the participants shared a wide variety of experiences and perspectives with one another before praying together in agreement.
It had all started with a simple question: “What are your hopes for the Church 10 years from now?”
Ben and Eileen, who were part of the prayer committee that organised the meeting, realised this was no fluke.
At a time when generational differences are often cast in a negative light, they realised that well-crafted conversation starters have the power to create healthy conversations and could be an important bridging tool to close the Church’s intergenerational divide.
Uniting Generations through conversation
Inspired, the enthused pair sought the approval of their church leaders and started to translate their idea into reality.
Together with Samuel Tan, a friend from another church who helped crowdsource for questions, Ben and Eileen eventually created the Uniting Generations (UG) conversational card game.
The game is designed to help players establish an authentic connection within a short amount of time, which is a crucial starting point for the deeper questions that follow, said Ben and Eileen, who hope to grow church unity through building stronger intergenerational relationships within the community.
The 66 cards are grouped into four levels, beginning with questions that establish familiarity and common ground, before going into deeper ones that require vulnerability and empathy.
After several rounds of running focus groups through earlier iterations of the game, Ben and Eileen found their hypothesis validated.
Despite intentionally putting together a diverse group, Ben and Eileen said that a recurring theme was having participants discover that they had more in common than they initially thought.
One Gen Z participant said that the activity “made me realise that the older generation is genuine in their desire to understand us”. She was surprised by how interested the other older participants had been in hearing what she had to say.
“It takes intentionality and authenticity to build and mend existing relationships,” she shared.
It was a sentiment that several others of different ages affirmed as well.
Mend and build
Ben and Eileen, who have both worked in full-time ministry, said they have seen “a lot of brokenness” that have gone “unamended” as they watch family, friends and leaders hold onto hurts for “far too long”.
“The activity made me realise that the older generation is genuine in their desire to understand us.”
But when conversations are held within a safe space, hurts can be expressed and shared. Through that, some form of healing takes place.
They believe that God-honouring conversations draw believers closer in remembrance to their identity and belonging in God’s family because it is a reflection of how Jesus modelled true discipleship.
“In spite of the diversity, we are one,” Ben and Eileen said. All that is lacking is “that little push to open up”.
“With the current model of church and the strain between the generations, it takes intentionality and authenticity to build and mend existing relationships,” said Ben.
“As a spiritual family, we can and must model love between disciples of Christ, since each one of us has received much from Christ Himself.”
The creators have set aside 30 decks of UG cards for a free giveaway. To participate, fill in the form here: https://forms.gle/k5iWLFMhfMvYJiZGA. Winners will be contacted via email.
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