Children are a blessing. They add so much to our lives. But young families in particular often wonder what do we do with the kids during our group time and questions of child care come up regularly.
As a church we cannot make specific recommendations or endorse particular ways of providing care for your children. It's the responsibility of every family to look after the health, safety and well-being of their children. But what I can do is I can share some of the things I've heard that groups do to provide the care for their kids.
Individually hire a sitter.
One thing that is pretty common which is every family just takes responsibility for their own kids. They hire their own sitter and have the kids tended to while they go off to group.
Include the children in the group.
Another thing that some groups have done is they've incorporated children into the group time itself. Children don't become a distraction or a disturbance, but they become a welcomed integral part of the group. It changes the discussion, the dynamic and the volume level in the room, but the kids are participants. Whether they're bouncing on knees or contributing to the conversation, they become part of the group and it becomes more of a family oriented group.
Watch the kids in a separate room during the meeting.
Another thing some groups have told me they find useful is they will send a couple adults to watch the kids, so two dads or two moms or maybe it's a couple, and they go watch the kids. And as adults, you take turns each meeting and always in pairs to watch the kids, that way the kids are tended to by an adult but most of the adults get to participate in the conversation.
Then also I've heard that it is pretty common for groups to pull their resources and hire a sitter or two, and the sitters watch the kids in another portion of the house during the meeting.
Those are just a handful of things that I have heard that groups find useful when it comes to childcare. Just keep in mind, as a parent, that you need to tend to the well-being and safety of your kids.
*This is the fifth post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders
BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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