The Secret to a Thriving Toddler Group

How prayer and a warm welcome are the key to sharing Jesus with toddlers and their carers

How prayer and a warm welcome are the key to sharing Jesus with toddlers and their carers

About Evangelical Alliance

The Evangelical Alliance joins together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals to make Jesus known.
Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.
United in mission and voice, we exist to serve and strengthen the work of the church in our communities and throughout society.

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It was one of my friends, through my daughter's school,
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recommended this play group.
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I'm not a Christian,
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I don't have any religious beliefs, personally.
00:12
I suppose I was little bit hesitant at first,
00:15
just wondering about the content of the sessions.
00:17
Just curious, I suppose, as to how much Bible stories
00:21
or the Christian messages
00:23
would be prevalent throughout the sessions.
00:26
But actually,
00:27
I found it was all very measured, very age appropriate.
00:32
Nothing ever felt forced onto me.
00:35
The welcome really did put me at ease,
00:38
and it made me feel that this was just a kind of
00:41
exemplary play group.
00:48
I think people value,
00:48
in a toddler group, a really warm welcome.
00:51
That it's obviously quite a daunting thing,
00:52
when you walk into a group for a new time,
00:54
and for the first time,
00:56
that there's someone there to greet you,
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to explain the situation,
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explain how the morning or the afternoon runs,
01:02
and just to make you feel welcome into a new environment.
01:06
You get to know other parents,
01:08
and I pretty much know all the children's names as well.
01:11
And it's a great opportunity for evangelism.
01:13
We can just chat to people,
01:14
and they're actually in a church environment thinking,
01:16
"They've made us feel welcome."
01:18
"This is nice."
01:18
"And these people seem quite normal, this is fun."
01:20
That, I think, that's essential.
01:22
The other thing that was really striking was
01:24
the warmth of the welcome.
01:26
How genuinely interested Lucy,
01:28
and the other ladies that we met,
01:30
seemed to be in myself and in my daughters.
01:33
Everyone made an effort to talk,
01:35
not just to me, but to my girls as well,
01:38
which I thought was a really nice touch.
01:39
The fact that it's so friendly,
01:42
it makes the Bible accessible,
01:44
and I really like the fact that my children can come along
01:46
and hear Bible stories,
01:48
as well as just socialising with little people,
01:52
and I get to come along,
01:53
have a nice cup of tea with my friends too.
01:55
We love the fact that it's really interactive,
01:56
and great fun.
01:58
You like the craft at the end.
02:03
I think the greatest thing for any church to do
02:05
is to be praying for the group to get behind them,
02:08
even though not the whole church can be here every day,
02:11
they can pray.
02:12
I think this one's different and it really stands out,
02:14
because of the warmth of the people here.
02:16
You can't forget that.
02:17
I know I've spoken about it quite a lot,
02:19
but the fact that everyone is warm, and genuine,
02:21
and interested,
02:22
makes a huge difference.
02:24
It almost makes you want to have another child, but--
02:27
I think my other half
02:29
would have something to say about that.