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Helping Children Belong in Small Groups

Written by Paul Nystedt on

Leaders and Coaches

Small Group is a community, not an event. And the community doesn’t end with the people involved in the Small Group discussion time. If there are families in your group, it includes their children as well. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:14).

How can Small Groups encourage community with all ages in their Small Group? Consider these ten ways to help children belong in your group:

  1. Consider making or having dinner with all of your Small Group families together once a month (or once a quarter).
  2. Find ways to have children be a part of the Small Group discussion occasionally.
  3. Pray together with the children to model prayer.
  4. Find ways to serve together with children included. This can help those in Small Group at all ages to develop healthy attitudes toward service and multiplication.
  5. Host a Movie Night.
  6. Host Game Night.
  7. Plan a day at the zoo or Children’s Museum (some families have passes).
  8. Do a seasonal activity with your Small Group (Apple Orchard, Christmas Cookies, Easter Egg Hunt).
  9. Go to one of the children’s sports games or activities (a piano recital, etc.).
  10. Find various other recreational activities to do as a group (bowling, fishing, hiking, swimming, various winter activities, etc.).

Having children involved as much as possible doesn’t only help the children, but it also serves the adults:

  • Young single or married people can have a better picture of what it is like to have a family, how to disciple children, and how to parent.
  • Parents can be relieved from the duty of solely watching their kids while others in the group serve as spiritual fathers and mothers.

Ultimately, following Jesus together–old and young–helps us mature more into the image of Christ.

Paul Nystedt

Paul Nystedt is a former pastoral resident at College Park Church. He currently serves as a pastor at Eagle Brook Church in Minnesota. Paul graduated from Bethlehem College and Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. He and his wife love spending time with their two boys, family, and friends.

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