“Don’t wake the baby!” has returned for a second series and is the perfect way for your church to connect with or support parents of babies and toddlers in 2024! The podcast is hosted by (and the creation of) Emma and Elliot Crippen, who are young parents themselves, and is in partnership with The Kairos Movement and Yorkshire North & East Methodist District.
Find out more here: www.kairosmovement.org.uk/dontwakethebaby/
Listen to the show on YouTube, or on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
HOW CAN YOUR CHURCH USE THIS RESOURCE?
Many churches, whilst providing great community groups for babies, toddlers and families, often struggle to offer anything to engage with the parents who bring their children. Initiatives like Messy Church and Stay-and-Play toddler groups often attract many non-church goers from the community, but the only follow-on opportunities are often inviting them to church on a Sunday morning. This is not likely to work for busy parents (outside of whether your Sunday service is suitable for them). This is where a digital initiative (online church or “grace space”) is ideally suited.
As a district, we recognised that local churches and circuits were unlikely to have the time, skills or resources to create something like this themselves but that we could create a district-wide project that could be used by all. We want to free you up so you can minister to children while we minister to the parents. Remember we are all working together to grow God’s kingdom. Our aim shouldn’t be to get these parents to come to your church on a Sunday – and it doesn’t matter where they get their spiritual belonging or discipleship from. It may be online, it may be in person. It may be at your church midweek, it may be at a different church, it may be through a podcast, it may be talking with other parents, or it may be within The Kairos Movement.
If you have Church baby/toddler groups, Messy Churches, or anything aimed at families… Then here’s how you could utilise the podcast:
Support parents you’re in contact with by sharing the podcast with them
If you’d like flyers, cards or other publicity material get in contact with Elliot and he can send you printed advertising for the podcast that you can display or give out. Or you can find lots of digital publicity (videos, graphics and more) to share on social media here: YouTube | Facebook | Instagram
Send details of your (Yorkshire) CYF groups to be shared with podcast listeners
As part of this two-way offering, we are signposting to our listeners the various groups for under 5s that are available around the District. We want to promote your church so we can both flourish, so I’d love to hear from you if you run or host a group! Take a look at the list and let me know:
Use the themes, topics & questions as ideas for talking points with parents at your church
Listen to the podcast yourself and learn about current issues and life experiences of young parents today (how things have changed) so you cater your family ministry or Sunday service to be more relevant to their lives, or just so you have a better sense of what to talk to parents about.
An example of what something new and creative online could look like
This project is a digital “new places for new people” (NPNP) and partly an experiment in trying something completely new to reach people outside the church. Use it to inspire you to explore how you might engage with non-churchgoers in your context.
Let’s work together!
Elliot Crippen works as Digital Enabler for Yorkshire North & East Methodist District
About the project
Here’s how the podcast describes itself:
Unwind on sleepless nights to a wholesome mix of parenting, humour, and crafting. A fun, honest and unscripted conversation between Emma and Elliot on non-judgemental parenting and millennial-based topics, as we relax in the blanket fort with a craft or creative activity.
Find out more, or listen to the podcast, here: www.kairosmovement.org.uk/dontwakethebaby
WHAT IS A PODCAST?
The term “podcasting” was first used in February 2004. A podcast is like a radio show that you can listen to on demand. You subscribe to it on your smartphone and listen to it whenever you like. They can be any length, from a 1 minute news snippet, to a 3 hour in-depth interview. They can be any frequency, from daily to monthly. They can be any format, from simple solo shows up to multi-person audio dramas. Each episode is normally run by one or two regular presenters, talking about that subject. A lot of podcasts are really simple, just a few friends chatting about something that they’re all really passionate about.
WHAT ABOUT FAITH?
Emma and Elliot are open on the podcast about being Christians but the main topics focus on parenting. They are following the Fresh Expression pathway of initially “loving and serving” and “building community” first and in time more elements of “church” will take shape. In many episodes Emma and Elliot share the work, vision and values of The Kairos Movement – exposing it to a larger audience outside the church (also offering follow-on opportunities for those wanting to connect or explore more). They also occasionally share small snippets of their faith journey, however, they keep it very ‘light’ and non-preachy. Emma and Elliot are the face of the project (hoping to showcase Christians as “normal” people who can have liberal views), and listeners feel they are relating to them as individuals, not to a church.
HAS IT BEEN FRUITFUL?
The podcast launched in July 2023 and produced 10 episodes over the summer plus a bonus outtake episode. Series 2 launched in December 2023 and there are now a total of over 18 episodes to listen back to (they are topic-based so can be watched in any order at any time) with new episodes each week on a Thursday.
There have been over 1,500 Listens* of the podcast so far, and an engaged audience of 30-40 people who tune in each week.
More importantly are the stories that emerge from those tuning in, with some comments including:
“I listened to the first one and it was great. You and your other half really work so well together … Seriously I’ll be recommending it to all the parents I know.”
“It’s a really good balance between funny and serious”
“I’ve actually been listening to it, I must confess that I love it! I’ve listened to every episode apart from the multi births ep. I find it very relaxing (idea of it being hosted in a blanket/cover fort is very calming) … Yes, please keep the content coming!”
“I have been enjoying listening along!! We have a 5 yr old and another on the way in a month or so… So hearing your baby stories and survival tips were at the right time … it has been good to hear another couples parenting and birth experiences! Thanks for sharing your stories (and crafts… I am a big artsy fan!)”