One of the great things about being a small groups guy is getting to know some of the leaders in the small group movement. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend time with and pick the brain of one of those people, Bill Search the Small Group Pastor (and author of Simple Small Groups, a fantastic read by the way) at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He offers his small groups five options for childcare. I think these may help many of us. Here they are…
The Community Group host leader arranges for childcare at the home where the group is meeting. The childcare provider can be a teenage child of the host or one of the participants or a responsible friend or neighbor. The group pays for the childcare. (This is not an education program for children, but there is that potential if a simple curriculum is used and the childcare provider is willing to lead.)
The Community Group involves children in the group process. The group can begin with a simple prayer time and/or object lesson during which the children are present and involved. Then the children and two of the adults move to a different area of the home. The adults rotate turns caring for and continuing the lesson for the children while the rest of the adults resume their study.
The Community group provides childcare by rotating group members. Older children (11 and up) provide support.
Each parent is responsible for caring for their own children. There is no childcare at the group.
All of the children meet at a house nearby with a babysitter. Parents drop their children off before the group and retrieve their children after the group session is finished.
Consider having all the group members help pay for childcare, thereby sharing the financial burden.
If you’d like to know more about small groups come join us for the Exponential Conference in April.