This week Clare Fillingham began her role as Emmanuel’s brand new Young Families Mission Co-ordinator. We caught up with her at Emmanuel Central to find out all about the new role:
Tell us about your role and what you will be doing.
From the outset I must say that I haven’t been employed to replace Becky! She does an awesome job reaching hundreds of children each week and my job is NOT to work with the children. That is ALL her! My job is to get to know and work alongside the parents. This job has been created because we have an incredible opportunity of outreach to an enormous number of parents:
- New mums who bring their children along to bumps and babies, or mums/dads/grandparents/carers of the children who come along to toddlers in their droves!
- Parents who have their arms twisted by enthusiastic children to come to Messy Church, or sign them up for Mission Mayhem, our brilliant holiday club.
- Parents who are interested in doing parenting courses or people who make enquiries about getting their child baptised. (I met with someone interested in having her children baptised today who lives just around the back of church and she had no idea about ANY of the things that go on here. She said, “I just know that there is a church at the bottom of my road. I don’t know anything about it..”)
- Parents who bring their children along to the crèche at Emmanuel on a Sunday morning.
- New families who arrive at Emmanuel and want to settle in and make friends.
- The young mums’ home groups – supporting and creating links for new people to join.
- Mums who come along to our Mums’ Breakfast meetings
My job is to get to know these parents and provide them with access to all the amazing things that go on at Emmanuel. To build relationships with them and to help them get to know other people in the Emmanuel community. My hope and prayer is that it will be obvious to anyone who comes to any of the many Emmanuel events that we are here because we love God and want to share the good news of Jesus with everyone.
What are you most excited about?
I am excited about the potential that we have to take a small child and his or her parents and provide them with a lifetime of opportunity to know God through the things that we can offer them at Emmanuel.
We are so lucky and privileged at Emmanuel to have such wonderful volunteers that enable us to provide so many different things for the young families in our community. I would like everything that we do in the week to be intentionally pointing to Jesus. To be more explicit about our faith – sharing stories from the Bible, singing songs about God. To establish clear links from group to group, from bumps and babies, to toddlers, to Messy Church, so that when for example, the 90 or so children that we have at the moment at toddlers leave, they naturally want to stay linked in with the Emmanuel community.
How can we pray for you in this new role?
Pray that I would meet and spend time with the people that God wants to put in my path every day.
Pray that I would clearly discern what God wants to do with my role. (I know I have ideas but they will be better if they
come from Him!)
Pray that I would build good working relationships with the wonderful volunteers that are already doing a fantastic job. Pray that we would work together to connect even more people into this huge and wonderful community, and that by doing that more and more young families would connect with God, and know His love for them.