Answering Your Small Group Questions – Question #1 – What About Childcare?

Hi Everyone. Kerrick Thomas here. I’m the Exeuctive Pastor at The Journey Church and Co-Author of Launch and Activate with Nelson. Today, Thursday and Friday, I’m going to be answering some of the most common questions we get about small groups. Tomorrow (Wednesday), Nelson will be back with the weekly Slack = Lack post, which will be centered on the Small Groups System. Lots to learn about small groups this week! Let’s dive in:

Question #1: What do you do about childcare for small groups?

When it comes to small groups, you should stay out of the childcare business, no matter how much pressure you get to take on the responsibility. Believe me when I tell you that, if you don’t make this decision on the front end, childcare will become a growth barrier and logistical nightmare as your number of small groups grows.

The best solution is to empower each small group to be responsible for its own childcare needs. Be prepared to give your groups some creative and workable options:

1 – Have everyone in the group who has children pitch in financially to hire a baby sitter or two every week. When all of the parents give a little the cost is surprisingly minimal.

2 – Set up a rotation where a different couple in the group baby sits the children each week. Make sure no one has to baby sit more that once or twice during the semester.

3 – Challenge every couple with children to find a solution before coming to group (baby sitter, relative, etc.). After all, they have to find childcare when they go out on a date or have a work function. Most parents have several childcare options.

4 – Create a child-friendly group where parents are encouraged to bring their children. This works best with moms’ groups who meet during the day and plan their group around activities for the children.

These are just a few of the many options available to you. The big point is: Don’t get roped into providing the childcare solutions for your groups. Let the groups come up with creative solutions themselves, with some helpful input from you.

Take a few minutes to brainstorm other potential childcare options. What have you seen work? What would you like to try? Get some other people involved in this conversation and see where it leads.


P.S. If you want to dig deeper into what it takes to have successful groups, make sure you check out the new book Nelson and I just released, Activate: An Entirely New Approach To Small Groups.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyGrowth Barriers, Small Groups

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