The weekly, evening obligation of small group is a hard sell to busy parents. So we’ve been experimenting with less structured ways to create community and have discovered a successful recipe. Here’s the plan.

The Overview:
Rather than forming a structured, long-term group, aim for casual connection by inviting neighbors for something like a book club chat. We’ve discovered that one evening around the backyard fire pit is enough to spark meaningful friendship.

The Book:
One of the most common tensions for parents is… parenting. So we’ve relied on A Grown-Up's Guide to Kids' Wiring as a book with broad appeal. Neighbors can buy and read their own copies but neither is necessary for great group discussion. Just use the conversation starters in the book to get everyone talking.

The Win:
One meetup won’t be enough time to discuss an entire book but it can jump start the kind of casual connections that fit in parents’ lives. You might decide to host a second gathering or pick another book or topic to discuss next. The goal is to take a small, easy step toward building a community of fellow parents.

During the busy years with kids under your roof, it may be unrealistic to stay in a small group at all times. But community doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing pursuit. You can find friendship and support in a way that fits your season of life. And one evening + the right resource might be all it takes to get it started.