A new batch of enthusiastic Godly Play storytellers have recently been trained up, at the Godly Play Training held over the long weekend, Saturday 1–Monday 3 March. Godly Play is a form of storytelling which invites the listener into the story, to wonder about the story in their own way and to interact and respond with it. There are no Bible verses to memorise or forced interpretations of the story onto the child, rather they are encouraged to listen in a quiet reflective space and interpret it in their own way.
After the telling of the story, in which the storyteller uses no eye contact so as to keep listeners focussed on the story and its props, the children are then encouraged to respond in any way they want to, perhaps using craft supplies provided.
Pamela Crass, from Busselton Uniting Church, has over 15 years’ experience in children’s ministry and participated in the training for the first time. She said the skills she has learnt will be a valuable asset to her congregation, who are planning to start using Godly Play in place of Sunday School in the near future.
“We weren’t just sitting there listening, we were actually very involved,” she said. “At first it was a little daunting, but once I got into it and I could understand the concept of not having eye contact it made it easier.”
Pamela believes that Godly Play is the way forward in ministry with children.
“The Godly Play training is definitely the way of the future for being able to share God’s message with children,” she said. “It’s actually teaching the scriptures in a more modern, more interactive way.
“It lets children have a chance to express their thoughts and feelings. It speaks to them in all different ways. Doing it this way allows everyone to have their own perception.”
For more information on Godly Play visit http://godlyplay.org.au or contact the First Third Team at the Uniting Church in WA on (08) 9260 9800 or 1300 736 692.