As the Director of Music Outreach, I have been so touched by what God has done in my short time in post. Toddler Praise has been running for a few years now, but since I joined 8 months ago I have loved journeying with the mum’s and toddlers; building relationships and watching toddlers and mums alike sing and dance to the worship songs we do together. Similarly with Messy Church, hearing the children worship God fills my heart with joy.
We have recently had our holiday club where we served 60 children and their families; amongst the crafts and dramas was also sung worship. I loved hearing stories from the children when they told me how they went home and found the songs on YouTube so they could sing and dance to them at home for their families; I loved hearing how at bath time, one of the mums had to put My Lighthouse on, on repeat, and then when it was finally turned off her two year old would continue to sing it. I was also shown a picture by another mum who’s 7 year old couldn’t sleep, so drew a picture of a lighthouse, and wrote the lyrics out from start to finish, word for word from memory.
God is so good, and loves His children. If those children are so impacted, it makes me wonder about the other 55 and makes me think about what they’ve taken home with them. I pray that they were equally impacted. I look forward to seeing how God develops the children’s work at the church, but also how I can further use my role in and for the community. I have recently started helping with the choir at one of the local schools; I look to see how that relationship builds and how I can support them more. I am hoping to start a children’s pop up choir for KS2 at the church, after school, starting in September. I am still developing the idea but am hopeful that children will come, sing and be uplifted through music. I have also been to the local nursery a couple of times and they have asked me to come back, so I hope to be able to make that a more regular activity in my week.
Since March I have also helped co-lead our Sing for Fun group, where I introduced backing tracks – a different style of leading. It was lovely having a mix of styles and the group responded really well. I have been anxious thinking about how I could fill the shoes of Jan Payne as she steps down, but God has encouraged me through so many people, including the group and especially Jan. He has also already put someone beside me to help me lead, which is such by the grace of God. Though the content of the group isn’t explicitly Christian, I know in my heart that God has touched people in the group. Confidence is being built, loneliness is being diminished and care and support is being promoted for all members. It is such a welcoming group, with one member telling me how they love that the group isn’t cliquey, like many singing groups can be. As the group develops, I hope to see people continue to find peace, comfort and friendship in the group.
One other thing that I have done each month since February, is go along to the local Open Mic night. I go along with my guitar, introduce myself saying that, “my name is Claire, and I work for the church doing music. I want to prove we (Christians) aren’t boring”. I get an incredible response every time after and during singing, with one regular lady saying to her friend last time, “oh, this is the girl from the church!”, quickly followed by a tap on my shoulder and, “I’m just popping out for a cigarette but I’ll be right back!”. I always do non-Christian songs, but there is always one Christian one in the mix where the Gospel is preached. It’s been amazing getting to know a couple who come. They have since started coming to church after feeling “changed” when they came the first time. They told me the most encouraging testimony and I was even privileged enough for them to ask me to sing during the signing of the Register at their wedding.
I look forward to the Open Mic each month; I want to witness to them the love of Jesus by just building relationships. I can’t wait to see where God takes me in this.
Written by Claire Grant: Director of Music Outreach (Chatteris)
To find out more about the Music Outreach in Chatteris you can email Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more on the facebook and website links below.
We love to hear your stories, experiences and news from around the Diocese, if you want to share them please do not hesitate to get in touch with Eleanor Puttock (Digital Evangelism Manager) email@example.com