Toddling into the Kingdom
Home Mission-supported Brownley Green Baptist Church brings the good news of Jesus to the sprawling housing estate of Wythenshawe in South Manchester. With contacts with the community centred around the thriving weekly Carer and Toddler groups and Boys' and Girls' Brigades, as well as a newer phase of work among the older people of the community. Minister Stuart Christine shares about the work among the toddlers of Brownley Green...
“Half a dozen of the church ladies arrive early at the church building every Wednesday morning to set up for the Carer and Toddlers programme. Debbie had driven past a couple of times and seen the poster. Being new to the area it was just what she was looking for and so she came in to give it a try. She loved the welcome and accepted an invitation to come along one Sunday even though she’d never been in a Baptist church before. Her partner Nigel, who’d never been to any church before, started to come with her when his long-distance lorry driving permitted. Last July they were both baptised, and together with their new baby Jorge, are keeping the Toddlers in business!
Helen and Lee had come into contact with us the month before when they brought 4 year old Fayth along to the annual Toddlers' ‘Family Fun Fiesta’ in June. Previously from the area, she knew some of the older ladies and was made so welcome that she asked if she could come on Sunday mornings. Lee, who worked on security at some of the nightclubs in Manchester centre, took me by surprise just before Christmas when he said he wanted to be baptised! I was even more surprised when he said he was up for coming along to a Monday night men’s ‘God talk’ group that we have for interested dads, which runs at the same time as the Boys' and Girls' Brigades meet. He’s not so strong on the reading bit, but when he gets talking it’s hard to get a word in! Both Helen and Lee were baptised this Easter Sunday. Lee’s words: “I can’t get over it. To be baptised on Easter Sunday - it blows my mind away!” Little Fayth made her mark as well, being dedicated the following Sunday and celebrating it by rushing over to the drums and giving an impromptu solo performance!
Home Mission supports, equips and enables churches in their mission and in engaging with the local community.
‘[Jesus] took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me".'
Mark 9: 37
For your thoughts and prayers:
How does your church engage with families and young children outside the church?
Beyond ‘initial points of contact’ such as toddler groups, are there other ways that people who want to discover more about faith are able to do so through your church community (beyond coming on a Sunday or joining a home group)?
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