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Godly Play

7 October, 2003 2:07 PM

Tonight at our weekly LivingRoom gathering we're going have a time of Godly Play.

I first heard about Godly play when Ian Mobsby blogged about it. It grabbed my attention straight away as it reminded me of the fuzzy logic bible study I've experimented with a few times.

When Steve blogged about Godly Play in such a positive way I decided it was something worth exploring and experimenting with. Following the links I ended up at godlyplay.org.uk which is a site dedicated to sharing a method of helping children engage with Scripture.

As both Ian and Steve say - to limit this method to being used only with children seems a bit of a pity (although I have no doubt its brilliant with them). To me it seems like a perfect way of helping both children and adults to engage with Scripture in a very postmodern kind of way. It allows people to engage their imaginations, to connect through story and it brings some of the mystery of God into an interaction with Scripture.

Having said this, I've never done it or seen it done in a group before (or been trained in it) - but this afternoon I gave it a go by myself and found it to be a very rich experience.

What is Godly Play?

Well its described on all the above sites better than I can - but the basics of it entail the telling of a story/parable/passage from Scripture and then having times where the group is allowed to 'wonder' out loud.

In this time anyone can put a 'wondering' to the group.... 'I wonder who was listening to Jesus when he said that?....I wonder why he chose fishermen as disciples?... I wonder what it was like to be a Pharisee?...I wonder why he talked so much about sheep?' You can wonder about anything at all.

The facilitator can wonder back at participants...'I wonder what makes you wonder that?... I wonder where you see yourself in the story?...'

The point isn't necessarily to come up with a whole heap of answers or a three point sermon, but to 'play' with the passage, to ask questions, to engage with it, to tease it out, to step inside it and look at it from different perspectives.

Oh yeah - they 'experts' suggest you use some visual aid that will help bring the story alive. They suggest a sandpit. Might be a bit much for us tonight so we're going to be using play-doh/clay to help us get into the 'play' frame of mind.

As I said, I'm yet to try it with a group (I'll let you know how it goes tonight) but in preparation I spent some time playing with Luke 15 this afternoon and found myself in a very refreshing and energizing space with God.



This Godly Play thing sounds really good - I've seen Steve T twice since he posted it and I keep forgetting to get him to talk me though it...I'm going to explore further...

Paul » 7 October, 2003 6:02 PM

it went really well - the amount of depth that we got into purely though our wondering was amazing.

Darren Rowse » 7 October, 2003 10:06 PM

Darren, I'm hoping you post a blog entry describing how this went in more detail. Pretty please? I'm really fascinated by this!

Jonathan » 7 October, 2003 11:48 PM

I'm w/ Jonathan, fascinated and wanting to hear how it went!

Rich » 8 October, 2003 12:58 AM

Just wanted to let you know there is training available in Melbourne for the Godly Play Method
of teaching. I have been to some sessions of
training and am experimenting with this method
in my own church with 3-5 year olds but do believe
it extends to all ages. I can get more details of
training to you if you would like and other info
about equipment etc.

Heather Mann » 18 January, 2004 5:40 PM

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