All posts written by Jared Kennedy

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!

God Provides for Elijah (at Home for June 22nd)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “God Provides for Elijah in Miraculous Ways” (1 Kings 17).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ 1 Kings 17 or Story 62 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What is a miracle? It is when God does something we can not do. 

ASK: What kind of food did the ravens bring Elijah? The ravens brought him bread and meat (1 Kings 17:6).

ASK: What do prophets do? They speak God’s word to men.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 312-316

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

61. What does the Holy Spirit use to change Christians? God’s word, prayer, and trials.

Acts 2:42 –They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

Pirates are Coming! VBS Video

Sojourn VBS promo from Reid Olson on Vimeo.

This year’s Vacation Bible School: PROOF Pirates sets sail on July 14th at all Sojourn campuses. Locations and times are listed below.

VBS is an event for kids, ages 4 through those who have completed grade 5, to learn from the Bible and participate in art, music, and games. This year, kids will learn that God’s grace is great enough to save scallawags like you and me.

To sign up to serve, click here!

To register, click on one of the links below: 

Midtown Campus (Click Here!)
1207 S. Shelby Street, 40203
July 14-18: 9am until Noon
Have questions? E-mail Lisa Tant

East Campus (Click Here!)
8509 Westport Road, 40242
July 14-17 (four days): 9am until Noon
Have questions? Email Noelle Garcia

J-town Campus (Click Here!)
11412 Taylorsville Road, 40299
July 14-18: 9am until Noon
Have questions? Email Kristen Early

New Albany Campus (Click Here!)
2023 Ekin Ave., 47150
July 14-18: 6pm until 9pm
Have questions? E-mail Milli Coverdale

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