INCLUDING AND INVOLVING CHILDREN IN YOUR HOME GROUP MEETINGS

December 2, 2012

 

INCLUDING AND INVOLVING CHILDREN IN YOUR HOME GROUP MEETINGS

Here are some things we did when our children were small, and some other ideas:
  • Our children would rotate taking turns answering the door.  For new guests, the greeter’s task was to show them around the house:  the location of restrooms, the kitchen area for drinks, etc.
  • Our children would pass out napkins and serve cool drinks to our guests as was age-appropriate.They would “go and get” towels, or any other items that might be necessary from time-to-time.  These kinds of things were adapted, and the tasks increased as they got older.
  • I put together a “Quiet Time” tote bag for each of our children, when they were toddler through grade 3, approximately. The items were selected, and tailored to fit their ages as they grew up. They were only allowed to have it and play with the contents at home group meetings.  During the week the bags  were put away, so the items stayed “new” to them.

I made sure all of the items were non-messy and age-appropriate.  Each child had his or her own bag.  Inside were  washable crayons, color pencils, blank paper (as my children were not fond of coloring books), books,  blocks….whatever was not squeaky, or loud.

  • Our children who were older would be a type of  Mommy’s helper with younger children.  They would clean up, or get items for a new Mommy for example, or for a younger child.
  • During the meeting time, all of the children in attendance would sit on the floor with their quiet time items, and quietly color, read, listen and so on.  Neither my husband, Mike, nor I would allow them to disturb others.  We simply would pick up the child, or walk with them to another room and deal with whatever was necessary as it came up.  Each family oversaw the needs of their own children.  I realize there is ‘work’ involved, but when our children become trained, you, in essence, work yourself out of a job.
  • Sometimes, if the children were being “stretched” by longer meetings for any of a variety of reasons, we “moms” would rotate and take all of the kids into an appropriate back room.  The “mom-in-charge”  or  “dad-in-charge” would supervise the kids while they did something a little more physically active, but appropriate for the space.
  • For children who are around 4 and up:  they could be trained to pray for another one of the children.  If desired, the mom or dad-in-charge, could prepare a short applicable Bible truth that they can apply to the children’s lives.  Teaching them about how much God loves them, their families, and friends.  The ideas truly are endless.  Children are good with supplying ideas.
  • On nice weather days the children can go outside with supervision, and play games
  • Keep in mind, children have short attention spans.  Also, keep in mind, that not all topics are appropriate for little ears.  Some people in the group may be needing to talk through some personal issues or concerns, need some counsel, encouragement, or prayer.  Having a plan ahead-of-time is helpful .
  • When adults rotate overseeing children when appropriate, then no one will feel “burned out.”  If enough people take turns, each one may only be having a turn once every couple of months or so.  This can be viewed as an opportunity to get to know the individual children.  Each person (or couple, or two women, or a responsible, mature teen-ager) “in charge” can pray and model that for the children, allowing them to pray for each other.  It can be a great opportunity to train children to care about their friends and pray for their friends’ needs, or hurts.  Letting them experience the power of God moving in their lives at young ages is awesome.
  • From time to time, changing things up is good for everyone.  Home groups are a great way to disciple people.  Discipling involves learning what the written Word of God teaches, and more.  The “more” comes by way of the student seeing how the Word works in people’s day-to-day lives.  Getting the Word off of the page, and connecting it with the Word Who lives in them is power for day-to-day “Life” flowing in being led by the Spirit.  As they say, “more is caught than taught.”

Planning day trips or outdoor activities helps foster relationship building.  Opportunities to see the Life of Christ lived out in and through “ordinary” activities abound.  Jesus taught the Word, and His disciples saw Him “do” the Word.  They learned much through what they saw and heard Him do as he loved and extended life to all He came in contact with.

This is not an exhaustive list. These are just some ideas to help you get started.

©Vanetta Stephens

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Vanetta Stephens January 19, 2015 at 3:42 PM

Thank you. This is something I wrote about drawing on our own family’s experiences. Mike and I appreciate your kind, encouraging words. Enjoy your day.