Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
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