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How to Care for Children in Cell Groups

by Daphne Kirk

Simple remedies to problems you may experience when there are children in the cell

Problem: Everyone has different ideas about discipline, role of parents, participation etc.

Solution: A Cell Agreement. Adults and children discuss and make an agreement ( e.g. on respect of homes, participation, discipline, expectation of parents). This can be reviewed bi-monthly.

Problem: The children are chatting and playing around.

Solution 1: If they are sitting together this has potential for distraction. Encourage adults to enthusiastically invite a child to sit with them, so every child has an adult to help engage and adults are blessed by the presence of the children

Solution 2: Are the children sitting on the floor? Each child needs his or her own seat (not on parents laps, unless they are very small). If necessary an adult can sit on the floor (adults do not generally roll around and crawl under chairs!!!)

Problem: How do we get the children (and adults) ready to participate fully?

Solution: Children love icebreakers. Do not start until everyone is seated (including the children). Go around the group giving the children the opportunity to answer too. Children love to announce the icebreaker, give them a sense of ownership asking one of them to announce it.

Problem: How can we engage the children in worship?

Solution 1: Always start by standing and holding hands to briefly pray. This ensures every child is present and adults are awake too! Children should scattered among the adults, so that they are not only holding each other’s hands.

Solution 2: Do not have “children’s songs.” Have songs that lead  to Jesus. Ensure they are easy to sing and have some repetition. This ensures that newcomers also find it easy to engage

Solution 3: Pray in 2s or 3s so every child and adult is included

Solution 4: Restore creativity in worship for our creative God.

Problem: One person always takes the Kids Slot and “misses out” on the normal lesson

Solution 1: Children belong to the community. Each adult should take the Kids Slot in rotation (in pairs for child protection). If an adult lacks confidence, pair them with someone who has experience

Solution 2: No “one misses out” as the children should follow the same Scripture and theme as the adults, simplified with some additional creativity. This helps them apply the word (NOT craft and coloring)

Solution 3: The adults can apply the word to their lives with the children and receive prayer from and with them.

Problem: What do we do in the witness time?

Solution: Children do the same as the adults (simplified with additional creativity) or return to the adults and do it together (remember seating arrangements)

Problem: What do we do when we finish?

Solution: Children share with the adults what the Holy Spirit did among them and the adults’ do the same. The whole cell can then respond, pray, and stand together to finish.

Problem: What do we do with very small children?

Solution: They should NOT be sent to Kids Slot to cause disruption and distraction there. Either they stay with their parents or can go to sleep on a bed or in the parent’s arms, or play quietly. (Jesus spoke to adults with children around). After a time, children can be trained to accept this and even be taken home asleep.

Problem: Our cell does not have these things in place.

Solution: It may take a few weeks to establish these disciplines but is worth the investment. During that time people will learn: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, longsuffering and peace!

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