How prayer and a warm welcome are the key to sharing Jesus with toddlers and their carers

This story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of

It was one of my friends, through my daughter's school, recommended this play group
I'm not a Christian, I don't have any religious beliefs, personally
I suppose I was little bit hesitant at first, just wondering about the content of the sessions
Just curious, I suppose, as to how much Bible stories or the Christian messages would be prevalent throughout the sessions
But actually, I found it was all very measured, very age appropriate
Nothing ever felt forced onto me
The welcome really did put me at ease, and it made me feel that this was just a kind of exemplary play group
I think people value, in a toddler group, a really warm welcome
That it's obviously quite a daunting thing, when you walk into a group for a new time, and for the first time, that there's someone there to greet you, to explain the situation, explain how the morning or the afternoon runs, and just to make you feel welcome into a new environment
You get to know other parents, and I pretty much know all the children's names as well"
And it's a great opportunity for evangelism"
We can just chat to people, and they're actually in a church environment thinking, "They've made us feel welcome"
"This is nice
"And these people seem quite normal, this is fun
That, I think, that's essential
The other thing that was really striking was the warmth of the welcome
How genuinely interested Lucy, and the other ladies that we met, seemed to be in myself and in my daughters
Everyone made an effort to talk, not just to me, but to my girls as well, which I thought was a really nice touch
The fact that it's so friendly, it makes the Bible accessible, and I really like the fact that my children can come along and hear Bible stories, as well as just socialising with little people, and I get to come along, have a nice cup of tea with my friends too
We love the fact that it's really interactive, and great fun
You like the craft at the end
I think the greatest thing for any church to do is to be praying for the group to get behind them, even though not the whole church can be here every day, they can pray
I think this one's different and it really stands out, because of the warmth of the people here
You can't forget that
I know I've spoken about it quite a lot, but the fact that everyone is warm, and genuine, and interested, makes a huge difference
It almost makes you want to have another child, but
I think my other half would have something to say about that