When a group decides children should be in the group, they begin to think of kids as a significant and vibrant part of the experience. Rather than a necessary interruption, children become welcome members of the group. By being around the discussion and Bible reading the children pick up on different aspects of the lesson. Perhaps a question or two from the discussion is specifically worded for the children and they are asked to participate in the discussion or share prayer requests.
6. Children as ESSENTIAL in the group
For a select few, a “family group” is a welcome alternative. Topics, questions, and small group experiences are designed with all ages in mind. Adults want and expect to hear from kids. The group wants everybody to participate.
C.S. Lewis said that the proof that you understand a concept is how well you can explain it to a child. Far from dumbing down the group to accommodate children, a group that focuses on all age groups has the potential to go deeper and have a lasting impact on participants because of the creativity required to engage all generations. Groups who pursue this approach may benefit from seeking resources and curriculum suggestions from the children’s ministry at their church.
When groups purposely decide to engage the whole family, everything is arranged to reflect this—from the curriculum to the environment to the time and day the group meets. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the effort. Having children in your group can be a wonderful opportunity to spur on growth for all who participate.
For more helpful small-group leadership tips, check out Bill’s book, The Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders .