I recently read an article written by an experienced sports journalist who was making some observations on a successful football team. Now before you all switch off because I mentioned footy (“I thought this was a Sisterhood blog,” I hear you say!) – he made some really powerful points. I have been mulling them over and wondering how they might apply to us as a company of women, spanning multiple generations, championing each other on. This journalist had followed the team’s progress over a period of about 5 years, from a very successful grand final, to a series of quite low points, through to a grand final berth once again. An observation was made, during a low point for the team – at one particular meal, with 20 players sitting together, 18 of them were staring at their mobile phone. Eighteen!! Then a second observation: there was a feeling at the club that there was a problem with how the older players and younger players were connecting with one another. There was no great animosity, or list of grievances, but the older, experienced players – who had weathered many years of competition, team building, highs and lows – were not making that point of connection with the younger ones who still had much to learn, but were keen, hardworking, talented and so full of potential. So the team banned mobile devices at all team meals and gatherings. They added a $50 fine for any infringements (even if a call went unanswered!). The result was a noticeable strengthening of the ties among the players, and in particular between the younger and older generations! Just by intentionally placing VALUE on their time together, they shifted the entire culture among the players. They played cards, they chatted, they told stories and laughed. They heard one another. They learnt from one another. And their team went from strength to strength. As a church, and as a Sisterhood, we place great value on the generations! We love our Grandmas and our Nanas, all the way through to our tiniest newborns. Just like this footy team though, we need to be intentional about our interactions, and alert to barriers so that this value is not just spoken of, but is part of what we do, and who we are. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” – every generation has a mandate to share what God has done! This is how we pass the baton of faith and how we build faith. This is how we strengthen and nurture a culture that values every generation – we share our stories and we declare what God has done in and through us. So here’s the challenge – who are you declaring His mighty acts to? Maybe it’s your own children and grandchildren. Or maybe it’s so much bigger than that! What if we each intentionally looked for opportunities to build relationships with those generations either side of us? Perhaps it’s praying for or encouraging the leaders of our youth and children, or stopping to give a pre-schooler a ‘high five’. Maybe it’s a reassuring chat with a young, sleep-deprived mum. Maybe it’s putting your phone away (radical idea, I know!) and stopping for a coffee or a conversation with someone a few years older, to intentionally “lean in” to their wisdom and experience. The opportunities to build the texture of Kingdom generations truly are endless.