‘Connect…Belong…Grow’ Resources – for you & your team

Connecting with other playgroups near you

Visiting other playgroups near you provides a great opportunity to share, connect and be encouraged by others in your neighbourhood who are also involved in ministry through Playgroups in the local church context.

  • add your playgroup to the playgroup locator on the website so other playgroups know you are nearby – see the steps here Adding your playgroup to the ‘Find A Playgroup’ locator  It will only take a few minutes.
  • Already added your playgroup to the locator or not sure if the details are up to date? Log in and check that the details of your group are up to date.

As we consider the ministry of Playgroup, we are “walking the journey” with the families who attend … the parenting journey, their own personal journey (children and adults) and their faith journey.

The focus of the Christian Playgroup Network, Connect…Belong…Grow  also expresses a journey. We want to support playgroups as they journey with their families, first connecting, developing a sense of belonging and growing in their lives, their parenting and their understanding of God, and ultimately a relationship with Jesus.

Below are more resources to equip you and your team.

Local networks

Networks can offer support, encouragement, wisdom and solidarity. Joining an existing network or setting up your own local network can be a great source of encouragement and support in your ministry with children and families.

Download the Local Network Start Up Kit which has been developed to help you establish a local Playgroup leader’s network. It offers some specific strategies and processes on which to build a network, and offers some ideas of how such a network can operate and what it can achieve.

Equipping your team or your church leadership

Training videos from NSWACT Baptists, especially the following, narrated by CPN member Yvette Wynne:

13. Setting the culture
14. Why we mission
15. How and Why of mission

What does a Christian playgroup look like A useful discussion-starter for reflecting on some core values for playgroup ministry

Playgroup – no use by date … what makes playgroup distinctive as mission, a ministry of service to families and a community that bears witness to the kingdom values of Jesus.

Playgroups can be missional  This is a one page article to use with your Playgroup team or to show your minister, listing principles of a missional Playgroup.

5 I’s of Intentional Playgroups Intentional Christian Playgroups do not just happen. They are usually the result of someone’s forethought, planning, hard work, prayer and staying power. Read more here.

Connect, Belong, Grow Here are some thoughts and ideas as to how your Playgroup can be intentional in being a place where your playgroup families have connected with your church and where they feel they belong; and where families can grow into an even deeper sense of belonging—to the church and to God.

Welcoming families Making your families feel welcome at playgroup is an important part of them feeling like they belong . Here are some ideas to help make that happen not just at the start of the year but all the year through.

Time to talk Some questions and ideas about missional playgroup to talk over with your team

Building skills for a missional playgroup Thoughts from Beth Barnett on being human, connecting to God, connecting to others

Playgroup and belonging Beth Barnett probes the meaning of ‘belonging’

Playgroup that connects Thinking about how your playgroup can be intentional in being a place where your playgroup families have the space to connect… with each other, with your church and with Jesus.

Understanding the community around us 

A 2014 research paper by McCrindle on social change and spiritual trends in Australia … a must-read for insight into the world our playgroup families (and the Christian church!) inhabit. Social Shifts, Spiritual Change – Christianity in Australia Today

This report follows on from the 2014 McCrindle research. Results are in … Aussies admire people who live out a genuine faith. A wealth of insight to the thoughts and mindset of the people living around us that we are ministering with. Go to http://www.eternitynews.com.au/faithstudy to read the full article.

Building Emotional Health and Wellbeing

This practical resource combines insights from both theology and psychology in a very readable form. Topics succinctly covered now include Autism, Disability, Deafness, Transgender, Schizophrenia, Grief and Loss, Care for the Carer, The Importance of Children, Understanding Mental Health Issues, Understanding Healthy Development, Trauma and Transition Issues for Children and The Church Responding to Community Disaster. Building Emotional Health and Wellbeing: A Pastoral Handbook for Ministry with Children and their Families (2nd edition) is available as a FREE pdf downloadKindle (approx.$5) or Book (approx. $10).

Starting a playgroup or revisiting the purpose of your playgroup

Ten Steps to starting a playgroup  You may be thinking of starting a playgroup at your church or wanting to revisit your purpose of running a playgroup. These 10 steps will keep you focussed on the end goal.