For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him, as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Q & A: Childcare
Over the years, we've heard the same questions and issues raised enough that we are able to anticipate what small groups, new and old, young and old, will face as they commit to meeting together. We will post these questions and their answers here on the blog.
Question: What should we do with children in our small group?
Answer: Our children are a heritage, a reward, a blessing (Psalm 127:3). Children are a blessing... and they can be a wildly effective distraction when it comes time to read the Bible, share about each others' lives, or pray together. It's not a curse, just a reality. Part of the blessing of having children is being sanctified by the way they unashamedly interrupt our lives, routines, and small groups. So how can our small groups care for our children? We have 10 suggestions:
1. Men and women meet on alternate weeks, each watching the children on the other week.
2. All the couples pitch in some money to hire a babysitter.
3. All the couples in the group alternate taking the kids for a week.
4. Each family makes their own arrangements for childcare.
5. One couple or individual in the group makes it their ministry to care for the children each week.
6. The children join the adults for worship and prayer, and then go to another area of the house during discussion.
7. Older children watch and care for the younger ones.
8. The group meets at a time such that the younger children can be put to bed before deeper discussion begins.
9. Children are incorporated into all aspects of the small group.
10. Two small groups swap care for each others' children on alternate weeks.
These are 10 ideas. You may have others. It's good to discuss childcare with your group and develop a plan that everyone is comfortable with and excited about. Let us know if another system has worked well for you!
So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.—Romans 12:5