Thrive Juniors 2024

In April, we held our annual ‘Thrive Juniors’ worship event for primary school aged children. We asked Fiona Stutton, Thrive’s Children’s Ministry Adviser and the organiser of the gathering, to share her reflections on this year’s event, held at All Saints Church, Emscote, in Warwick.

Standing at the back, looking towards the front of the church, to see over 160 children and leaders from across 16 different churches gather together, dancing to random ‘Just Dance’ songs was a fun way to start Thrive Juniors 2024!  How awesome it was as we went from a time of dancing to funky music, to leading children and leaders in worship, celebrating God and going away with a reminder for each of them to fix their eyes on Jesus and not to give up.

It was a real privilege to bring together children, young people and leaders for a Spirit-filled Thrive Juniors.  It’s always great to see a church packed with children, but this year, the event felt far more than a children’s gathering.  My highlight was seeing 20 young people actively leading in some way. A few of them came with their churches and helped lead their groups, but many of them were involved upfront, as part of our Thrive Young Leaders team.

It was a true privilege to come alongside and meet with a group of teenagers, who had previously been a part of Thrive’s Youth Growing leaders course.  Not only does Thrive train, equip and build up young people in becoming confident and strong leaders, but we provide opportunities for their leadership skills to shine out. This year, their radiance, energy and love for Jesus was brightly glowing and so evident.  God took their giftings and used each young person to serve, teach and lead in worship where God’s presence filled the room.

young leaders at Thrive Juniors

From the start of our preparation, the young leaders were involved in the planning and sharing ideas to shape the overall programme.  Two of the young leaders, Dan (from Heathcote Parish Church) and Mim (from St Michael’s Church, Budbrooke),  co-hosted and kept the event running smoothly and efficiently throughout the afternoon.  Mim worked alongside me delivering a fabulous and engaging talk, and sharing her testimony.

The young people choreographed the drama themselves and performed it brilliantly whilst the worship band not just played, but led the children in worship.  As each song finished there was a spontaneous round of applause!  It was a moment that was so special.

My prayer for these wonderful young people is that God continues to grow them in their faith and leadership gifts and that they continue to use their gifts throughout their lives.

‘It was a joyous occasion and so good for all of the children to see that they belong to a much bigger Church than just their own patch.  It was so good too to see All Saint’s (Church) being used to its fuller potential – I loved the theatrical set up in the main space and the way the young people were involved with the music and much more. A lot of work went into it from the Thrive Team and I could see that there was an amazing back up team too.  Inspirational.’ – Rev Diane Thompson, vicar at All Saints Church, Emscote

Well done everyone.  The puppets were a highlight as ever!  I wish I could have bottled the enthralled expressions of some of our kids.’ Rachel Budd – leader at Heathcote Parish Church

Pray for all the children who came and encountered Jesus at Thrive Juniors, and for the many leaders who sacrificed a Saturday afternoon to enable their children to meet together.