I love toddler groups especially as this was where I began my journey with God 25 years ago and where I made long term friends that are still on that journey with me.
It is such an incredible privilege to tell stories about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As a new parent I remember being completely awestruck at my new baby and found myself re-evaluating the world and this beautiful creation in my arms. I was searching as many new parents are.
The Holy Spirit is our gift from God to inspire, help and empower us. He is a vital part of this very special ministry. We have fun together. The children witness and sense this fun and joy and like the little sponges they are, soak it all up as they want to be a part of the amazing adventure God has planned for them too.
Inviting the Holy Spirit to come and fill us during our team prayer time before and after any toddler sessions has always resulted in our load being easy and light. We have had so much fun watching God at work, not only in our team of helpers, but also in the carers and their children. I have learnt to never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to touch lives. This has been evidenced by people telling me about the ‘special feeling’ they experience, coming and asking me for prayer, praying for healings and volunteering to join the team once their children have gone to school because of that special feeling and sense of belonging.
The most powerful thing I use during story time is the ‘prayer parachute’. I ask toddlers to sit or lie underneath while I shake it gently over them asking the Holy Spirit to come. Then I pray and play May God’s Blessing from the New Wine Kids album Get Up and Dance, a firm favourite. Carers and children visibly engage with God during this time.
God has given us this amazing mission and equipped us for the job in hand. The Holy Spirit is what makes us special, sets us apart, inspires and empowers us. Check out Anna Martin’s Bible Buds which she wrote to help equip leaders specifically in this area.
Jacqueline Faerber is a member of The Gate Church in Reading, Berkshire.