All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Revival Under Jehoshaphat (Kids in Community for June 30th)


Download the free Revival series devotional here!

Applying God’s Word with your Kids in your Community Group

  • Read 2 Chronicles 20:13-19 together.
  • If the whole earth was for sale, what do you think the price tag would be?
  • In whom did Jahaziel tell the men, women, and kids to trust?
  • Invite a child to pray and then conclude by asking God for increased faith to believe God’s promises through the best and worst times.

Family Devotions at Home

  • Read 2 Chronicles 20 together
  • If you knew a candy store was giving away all its candy for free, would you ask for one piece or for the whole store?
  • How do you think the people felt when they realized God answered their prayers and defeated their enemies in big ways?
  • What could we pray for together that only God can do?
  • Parents: Share how God is calling you to trust him more.
  • Pray together for increased faith to trust the Lord.

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven (at Home for June 29th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “Elijah Taken Up to Heaven” (2 Kings 2:1-15).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ 2 Kings 2:1-15 or Story 64 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What do you think this story teaches about God’s power? God is all-powerful. He created a chariot and horses of fire to come down from heaven to pick up Elijah

ASK: Did Elijah die? No. God took him to heaven alive!

ASK: Who is in charge of death? God is in charge of death. Death has no power over God.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 322-326

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

62. What is the church? The church is the people that God has made alive, called together, and sent on mission.

1 Peter 2:9–But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

Where are the kids when we’re in community group? | Part 3, Tips from Sojourn parents

Where are the kids when we’re in community group? When we’re learning from the Bible, speaking gospel words to one another, and living life together, how can we share this with our kids? In case you missed it, I asked Casey Smith, a former member of Sojourn who is currently serving with Acts 29 Europe and The Crowded House, about this earlier this week. But I’ve also been asking the same question of many of our own parents here at Sojourn.  Here is what a couple of other Sojourn parents have done:

  • The community group Megan and I lead includes the kids when we share “highs and lows” to open our group time, and we begin our weekly discussion with Bible time for the kids. We’ve also enjoyed scheduling select Mondays to go out to a restaurant with our community group for discussion time. It’s great it if you can find a place where kids eat free on group night!
  • Several parents, including Reid and Kristen Olsen, have reported to me that they really enjoy using the “Kids in Community” devotionals that correspond with the weekly sermon.
  • Erin Warmbier said, “We’ve been alternating having the members of our community group cover childcare, which is fairly successful as long as I remember to set it up in advance.  We took a week and met at the park down the street so the kids could all play while the parents chatted. That was nice. The kids love meal night because they love being able to hang out with the ‘grown up friends.'”

What ways do you incorporate kids into your group time?

Where are the kids when we’re in community group? | Part 2, Thoughts from The Crowded House


Where are the kids when we’re in community group? In my time as a community group leader, I’ve most often hired a babysitter to take care of the kids. Often, they flip on a movie and the kids are entertained by Disney while we parents study the Bible and live life together. Unfortunately, hiring a sitter or turning to Pixar doesn’t translate  into an intentional time of kids learning the Bible, hearing the gospel, or developing meaningful relationships. But can it be different? 

Recently, I corresponded with Casey Smith. He’s  a former member of Sojourn who is currently serving with Acts 29 Europe and The Crowded House, a church community in Sheffield, England, UK. I asked him, “How does THC incorporate young children into your home group / house church meetings?” He shared the following thoughts from his perspective as an outsider/American at The Crowded House:

  • We ALWAYS share a meal together, which is an easy way to involve children in the life of the group.
  • Some groups that meet later in the evening work it so that they put their children to sleep at each others homes so that they can be involved as much as possible.
  • We try to find songs that are singable/understandable for our children but are still robust in their biblical theology and we sing those occasionally on a Sunday morning. This allows the children to be able to sing in the gatherings alongside their parents and the rest of the adults. This has been pretty encouraging to me as a parent, especially when I hear my kids singing our gathering songs during the week.
  • Babysitting is common with so many kids, yet we’ve NEVER paid for a babysitter. The expectation among the community is that if you’re asked to babysit, you will babysit and you will babysit for free. Its a huge blessing and a great way to incorporate our kids into the life of the individuals in our gospel community during the week. We usually ask them to read them stories from our children’s Bibles to them during group meetings.
I thought these were really helpful thoughts. What have you tried in your groups?

Where are the kids when we’re in community group? | Part 1

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Here at Sojourn, our church culture revolves around two primary ministry wings: (1) our weekly worship gatherings at our campuses on Sundays, and (2) weekly community group “scatterings” that meet in homes around our city throughout the week.

Over the past year, Sojourn’s leadership has been wrestling with a burning question. It is one that haunts us, and it is one that is beginning to haunt many church leaders who are part of the small group (community group, missional community, home group, house church) revolution. Here is the question.

Where are our kids when we’re in community group?

Over at the Lifeway Kids blog, Jana Magruder unpacked what she has experienced as the most likely scenario.

My husband and I have been in multiple small groups (community groups, missional community, home groups, etc). The scenarios presented for our kids during these times have been: take kids and let them watch a movie in the host’s playroom, hire a babysitter to watch all kids at the host home, or hire a babysitter to watch our kids at home. None of those translate to intentional time of kids learning the Bible, hearing the gospel, or developing meaningful relationships like their parents are getting to do during their small group.

That’s what we’ve seen as well. Most of the time, parents turn to either a babysitter or Pixar. But we believe there is a better way. Over the next two days, I’m going to post some tips for incorporating kids into community life. First, on Friday (June 27), I’ll post thoughts from Casey Smith who serves with Acts 29 Europe and The Crowded House, a church community in Sheffield, England, UK. Then, next Saturday (June 28), I’m going to post a few additional tips that I’ve received in conversations with parents here at Sojourn’s Midtown campus. Come on back next week and check it out!