a small group for young families

Since we moved to Miami and joined our church we have been a part of a great small group. We have loved meeting with them and it was convenient that we could bring Liam with us since the leaders of the group have a little girl his age. But ever since Isabel was born it has been a challenge getting to small group. She likes to go to sleep early (like 7pm early!) and group would start at 7:30 (at the earliest) so one of us would always stay behind with the baby (usually me) and the other would go to small group with Liam. I really wasn't feeling this arrangement.  

So we went on the hunt...we were searching for a small group that would accommodate the stage of life we're in. We wanted to be able to bring the kids with us since it can be challenging finding a babysitter every single week and we wanted an earlier meeting time. We asked around and looked through the lists of small groups and there just wasn't anything that would work. Finally we decided to take the step of starting our own small group. I'm excited! We'll be meeting on Tuesdays at 6:30 and will be reaching out to other young families (though anyone who wants to join is welcome). 

We're still figuring out how exactly we want to approach the childcare for our small group and I've been reading some interesting articles (like this one, this one, and this one). I would love to have the kids fully integrated into the meeting...though I don't mind opening up Liam's room for the kids to take over while the adults take turns caring for them. I really want to be intentional with the kids during our meeting. We own the Jesus Storybook Bible (and several other kids Bibles) and would love to have an adult reading to the kids from there while the rest of us have our own study. Or we could have the kids in the same room as us listening in. And I've even thought about having an informal meal together so we can all just sit back and eat and enjoy everyone's company. 

These are just some thoughts that are swimming around in my head as we get ready to start this new group. I'm praying that the right people find this group and they will find it to be a blessing. Anyone have any thoughts about including kids into a small group meeting? How would you do it? 

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