It was great to see lots of children come together, from all over our area, to connect and worship God.

There were 67 children, 19 young leaders (teenagers), and 32 leaders coming from across 14 churches. As people entered the event, they gathered in their church groups, aided by large signs so they knew where to sit. The afternoon began with games which went down a storm!

The event was organised by Thrive’s Children’s Ministry Adviser, Fiona Stutton, who said:

“My ultimate highlight of Thrive Juniors was seeing so many leaders from a great number of our local churches commit to bringing their children and get excited about worshipping God. I loved seeing the children singing, clapping, and dancing during our final song and going out with such a buzz. I also valued the young people fully participating and leading our children in the worship, drama, puppets and generally having their presence and enthusiasm shine through the afternoon. It was a joy to run the event and I can’t wait for the next one!”

It was a blessing to have so many young leaders involved and energetically leading the children in example and activities. Encouragingly, we had young leaders who are just coming to the end of our Youth Growing Leaders programme helping, along with the young people from the Thrive Puppet Team. They led a drama based on 1 Samuel 16 about how God chooses us. The children loved the costumes and personalities of all the different brothers. There was the strong one, the smart one, and most importantly… the brother chosen by God, David. It was great to see children engaging and connecting with the Bible story.

Highlights from the children were “We learnt that God looks at our hearts at what others don’t always see”, “God sees and likes you for who you are, and not as other people see you”, “It’s what’s inside our hearts that counts”, and “I enjoyed the singing”.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7

“We were so glad to be able to be part of this event and are grateful to Thrive for enabling the children from different churches to come together in this way.” – Rachel

“We really enjoyed the event.”- Ania

Fiona gave a wonderful talk about how God sees your heart that others don’t see. There was then a chance to interact with the message of the talk with a heart craft that encouraged the children to consider the characteristics that God sees on our heart eg. kind, loving, etc, they really did put their heart into it!

There was also the joyful appearance of the Thrive Puppet Team. They performed an upbeat new version of George Harrison’s ‘Got My Mind Set on You’ as my ‘Heart Set on You’. It was fab to see the children captivated by the puppets and bobbing along to the music. The room was thriving with young leaders and children.

We’re grateful to Tesco for their generosity in helping us out by providing squash and biscuits for the children. It was wonderful to see the children engaging, especially in the final song and clapping along to ‘One Way, Jesus’ which bought the afternoon to a close.