LifeGroups are the heartbeat of our church. The meat and potatoes. The bread and butter. The icing on the cake. Sorry, I must be hungry. In short, biblical community is vital.
But what about the groups—like ours—with a million kids in them? How do we grow closer to God and closer together with a slew of children running amuck? Let’s be honest. Trying to participate in anything remotely organized with a bunch of little humans can feel as hopeless as brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.
So let’s get practical. There is a buffet of great options to choose from. I promise.
Make it happen. The one and only rule: It doesn’t have to be perfect. Okay? Now repeat that to yourself a few more times. We’ve had seasons of bottles and burp rags, Barbies and Batman. Do yourself a favor and let go of control, embrace the beautiful chaos of a fleeting season, and be thankful for the heroes in your tribe who will pray for you, make you food, and rock your babies to sleep.
Make a trade. Simply take turns watching the kids. If you have 10 trusted adults in your group, you’re only up to bat every tenth meeting. That’s more than fair! Some groups trade childcare with other groups. We have friends in another group who alternate having guys’ nights and girls’ nights. Even date nights! You make the rules. Feel empowered to get creative.
Make an investment. Bite the bullet and pay someone you trust to love on your little ones. This has been our favorite working theory, thus far. A family friend wrangles our munchkins at one couple’s house, while the adults meet at another down the road. It’s kind of like the glorious kid vs. grownup tables at Thanksgiving. For a moment, there is peace on earth.
Make it fun! Plan family nights. Grill burgers, swing babies, and play horseshoes. Serve meals together at your local shelter. Go swimming. Go crazy. Do life together!
Make disciples. Recruit a responsible older sibling to oversee the circus going on in the backyard or another part of the house. Dub them with the all-powerful leader status. Show them how to utilize the resources listed below. Build them up as a mentor to the younger ones and prepare to watch them shine.