When is a training course like a retreat? When it’s a Godly Play training course!
At the end of April Shirley Busby, Karen Dennison and myself, along with 9 others, took part in a 3 day Godly Play training course in Bunbury, led by Brenton Prigge from the Uniting Church in Busselton and Carolyn Handley from Sydney. Our intention was to learn how to deliver the Godly Play programme effectively to the children at the 10am services at St Nick’s – but we got so much more than we bargained for. We also came away blessed, refreshed and revived in our own inner being.
Godly Play is much more than a teaching programme. It is founded on principles which help us, whatever our age, to engage with God through scripture by ‘getting ready’, ‘wondering’ and responding at a deeper level to what we see and hear. We were able to learn through taking part in the stories as the children do, and found that God met us profoundly in our own personal ‘response time’. We also were coached through our own story telling and grew in confidence to tell the stories without a script, to not be afraid of silence, and to allow listeners to make their own connections with the story. Godly Play is a different way of telling bible stories – it allows us to see things from a different angle – and all of us on the course were surprised that we saw things in familiar bible stores that we hadn’t seen before.
Karen, Shirley and I are looking forward to continue to grow in using these principles – not only on Sunday mornings, but with the Nourish kids on Fridays and in our small groups. If you are part of any of those groups, you may hear phrases like “Let’s get ready . . .?” and “I wonder . . .” being used . . . I wonder where Godly Play will take us next?!