Ahead of the ‘Under five and flourishing’ conference on 18 March, Sarah Major, Education Administrator for Jumping Fish Ltd at the Diocese of Gloucester, shares her calling to work with schools and churches to support children in their spiritual growth and development. She will be leading a workshop at the event.
“Looking at Matthew 19:14, Jesus says, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ He said let the little children come to me, determining all children. He didn’t invite only those that excelled in their Early Years Foundation Stage neurological markers, he said all.
“My career started in the education field. I chose to dedicate my time working with families and their young people to assist them with accessing an education – an education that was often tailor-made for them and their needs. It was through this work that the family as a ‘whole unit’ was highlighted, alongside how this ‘unit’ was unable to ‘unite’ themselves with pre-determined sociological and environmental markers.
“I felt a passion burning inside me to learn more about our young people who experience neurological uniqueness and I developed in this area at postgraduate level. With this wider learning, I felt empowered to apply myself within this field, ensuring that all children under my care could access education in a safe and appropriate manner. I was able to transfer these skills, powered by the desire to encourage all children to have access to Jesus and the remarkable work that we hear about in the Bible.
“I feel churches often struggle with knowing where to start with welcoming a family which includes diversity. Our brains are as unique as our fingertips and the task of incorporating this uniqueness into our churches is vast.”
Under five and flourishing is a day conference aimed at anyone who has contact with under fives, whether that be teachers, governors, church leaders, toddler group providers, parents, or any churches that want to learn more about ministry among this age group. The day offers bite-sized theory and a handful of ideas to take away to use within your setting. There will also be an opportunity to discuss existing practices using the case studies of Gloucestershire churches.
Read more or book your place: Under fives and flourishing
Jumping Fish publications support RE teaching, spiritual development, values education and collective worship in schools, and help churches to promote links with their local schools. All-age worship materials are also available, to help churches be more ‘family friendly’. Find out more: Jumping Fish Publications