31 May 2013
Pray for parents and toddlers
On 2 June, 1277: make them count, an alliance of churches and agencies are holding a national day of prayer for parent and toddler groups. Timed to coincide with National Family Week, churches across the country will be encouraged to pray for this important ministry.
For many churches the weekly parent and toddler group is a key outreach opportunity, as well as a way to serve their community. The Children's Workforce Development Council report More Than Sundays indicates that over half of the nearly four million under-fours in the UK are part of a church-based parent and toddler group, with around 27,000 churches running these groups. With at least one adult attending alongside the child, the number reached could be over six million in total each week.
Thousands of volunteers prepare and organise, make tea and coffee, play with children, chat to adults, tell Bible stories, lead singing, provide wet wipes, pray with people and love them.
"With toddler groups reaching 52 per cent of the toddlers and carers in this nation, it has the greatest potential of any mission activity of the church. The frontline missionaries, the volunteers, need our prayers that they can be free samples of Jesus week by week. Imagine the possibilities if the whole Church supported this ministry," said Ian Bunce, faith and society networker for the Baptist Union.
Alison Clark, Chair of 1277 and children's evangelist, said: "For many young children and their parents, the parent and toddler group is a highlight as they meet up with friends to play and chat. For many it is the only time they will come into contact with a local church community, so a fantastic opportunity for churches to serve and share the gospel at the same time."
Get your church praying for your local parents and toddlers group or think about starting one.
Free resources are available www.1277.org.uk.