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Sep 04

Thrive is 5: Expanding into children’s ministry

One of our most significant developments has been our expansion into supporting children’s ministry. The appointment of the vastly-experienced Fiona Stutton in May 2016 to the role of Children’s Ministry Adviser has seen our work with churches significantly diversify.

As we shared the vision for Thrive, wanting to enable every church to have a thriving youth ministry, we started to realise that, for many churches, this is way beyond their possibilities. Most churches don’t have any youth work provision. But they do often have children with whom they are trying to nurture faith. For us to see our vision realised, we need to work with churches where they are and that means helping them develop and deepen their foundations with children’s ministry.

Fiona has worked hard, supporting churches and their children’s leaders. She has developed a termly hub meeting, seeking to gather together all those involved in children’s work to share ideas, inspire each other and to pray together, as well as developing various local area hubs for employed leaders in Leamington, Coventry and Rugby.

Fiona has over eighteen years of children’s ministry experience in a variety of different church contexts so is ideal for getting alongside struggling leaders.

She also has a passion for puppetry and loves helping churches discover how they can use puppet presentations as part of their outreach to children. Puppetry is great for linking the generations as it an activity that often teenagers enjoy being involved with, as they perform their presentations to the children. Perfect for those churches who don’t have many young people but three or four, who might come together to work on such a project.

Statistics suggest that most people who come to faith do so by the end of their teenage years, and the majority of innovative outreach activities happen during the secondary school years.

Our hope is that our involvement with church children’s ministry will mean that churches will not be able to shy away from youth ministry as there will be a need for creative discipleship as their children become young people, or emerging adults.