Families In Community Groups

FAMILIES IN COMMUNITY GROUPS

What about kids?

Our biggest desire for Community Groups is that everyone regardless of age is being discipled in a CG, including your kids. In other words, we desire that they grow up with a community of believers pouring into their lives. What this looks like practically is up to you.

A Community Group is the people, not the meetings or weekly gatherings, of your group. Discipling your kids doesn’t necessarily mean your kids are a part of all your CG’s official meeting times but they are fully a part of that CG in some form. Your kids may not attend Bible study nights, but may encounter your CG when you invite some of them over to your house for dinner or invite them into the everyday activities of your kids (school, sports, etc.). How you involve them in those meetings is up to you, but regardless, they are still a part of the CG. For example, your CG might decide to help paint your neighbour’s house, or rake your block’s leaves, or feed the homeless in your area, and you bring your kids along.

In regards to the meeting times, one idea is to have a babysitter that your CG fundraises for so you can go to the group’s PSC/Bible night, or another is to bring them and rotate with other families week to week to watch the kids, play with them, and teach them the Bible. Or if they are young you could put them to sleep in another room. If your kids are older, they might love getting together with your CG in discussions and participation.

As parents, only you know your kids’ lives, schedules, abilities, weekly activities and best way to incorporate them into the life of a Community Group. Therefore, it is up to you to decide with your CG leader how the CG can involve your kids and vice versa. The key as a parent is to make opportunities in the everyday activities of your kids’ lives for your CG to be a part of and invite them into it when you can and in a way that is life giving for your family.

Examples of CGs with kids

Example One:

  • Bible Study/PSC (Sundays 3–5 PM) – Kids are watched by a rotating couple each week (in a separate room) and on the last Sunday of the month it’s a family potluck from 3–6.
  • Prayer (Tuesdays 7–8 AM) – Westside Office (kids are welcome)
  • Sunday Gathering – The majority of the group goes to the 9 AM gathering
  • OTHER unofficial gatherings in this CG:
    • The moms get together at a local park at 10:00 every Thursday morning with other moms in the neighbourhood.
    • Four of the men go running and have devotions Monday and Wednesday mornings and invite their neighbours.
    • Twice a month the men babysit at one house and the women go out, and vice versa.
    • On Saturdays, any group members that can make it to the kids’ soccer games go.

Example Two:

  • Bible Study/PSC (Wednesdays 7–9 PM) – Kids don’t come and are babysat at home (CG raises money each week to support you coming)
  • Sunday Lunch – The 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, one family in the group open their home for lunch
  • Prayer (Tuesdays 7–8 AM) – Westside Office (kids are welcome)
  • Sunday Gathering – The majority of the group goes to the 9 AM gathering
  • OTHER unofficial gatherings in this CG:
    • Once a month this CG goes to a sports game for one of the kids in the group, or goes on a family-friendly outing (bowling, aquarium, etc.).

Signing up

Step One

Sign up for the closest Community Group that works best for you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The CG leaders won’t know who is in their group and the best way to organize it until people sign up. So if at first your particular neighbourhood group(s) has a meeting time that doesn’t work for you (for example, you have young kids and that group meets 7–9 PM, right at bedtime, you can still request to join that group and the leader will contact you to discuss how that CG can make it work). Once you sign up, let the leaders know that you have kids, their ages, etc.

Step Two

The leaders will then call you or set up a time to meet and discuss how they as a CG can be a part of your family and vice versa.

Some side benefits:

  • Your kids will have other adults that they can look up to
  • You could get free babysitters all the time
  • You can help prepare younger people in your CG for marriage and kids
  • You are doing ministry with your kids and teaching them how to be future CG leaders