Thanks to Jessica L. Anschutz for writing up this Great Idea in the Lewis Center for Church Leadership’s Leading Ideas post.

Jessica Anschutz writes about an initial attempt to reach young adults through Theology on Tap gatherings which seemed like a great idea, but ultimately was unsuccessful.

In its wake, Coffee, Kids, and Chaos was created: the congregation’s fellowship hall became a weekly gathering space for parents, grandparents, and nannies with small children where the adults can gather over coffee while the kids play. The location moves as weather and seasonal interests unfold: picking apples, local play parks, etc. Two pastors host the event and field questions about faith, spirituality, parenting, sleep training and school transitions.

Read Anschutz’s article here.

Similar ideas might include keeping the Theology on Tap event at a pub – (hosted by at least one theologically educated person), setting it prior to bedtime, and providing trained youth and a few elders to care for kids at church (or a park, apple farm, etc.): children get play time, youth and elders share mentoring/bonding time (where conversations about faith, spirituality, maturing through different life phases, and specific interests might happen), and parents get a night of free day care to socialize and talk about faith.

OR

Provide regular date-nights for parents with children: again, youth and elders partner to provide babysitting – complete with snacks, faith conversations and play, while parents enjoy either a night out by themselves, or an evening of dinner provided by the congregation. This is a Great Idea during Advent, when parents could use the time to go shopping, prepare foods, etc.

In fact, that could be a whole setting: if you’ve got the kitchen, let food preparation for the coming week be a reason to gather families and elders together: kids can play in the fellowship hall, monitored by those with training who choose to do so, while others are in the kitchen learning new recipes and prepping food for the coming week.

How might you adapt this Great Idea for your setting? We’d love to know! Share your ideas with others here.