GODLY PLAY–AGES 4-10
What is Godly Play?
Godly Play teaches children the art of using Christian language – parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action – helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives.
When Christian language is learned by the Godly Play approach, it is learned as a means to know God and to make meaning of our lives. This approach is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. Godly Play is not about things that are that simple. It is not just about learning lessons or keeping children entertained. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language and involving the creative process to discover the depths of meaning in them. It’s about understanding how each of the stories of God’s people connects with the child’s own experience and relationship with God. Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.
The goal of Godly Play is to show how to be open to the Holy Spirit, the Creator, and the Redeemer all at once and all the time in every place. To achieve this goal is to help children become deeply rooted as Christians and yet at the same time use this powerful language and community to be open and creative.
Godly Play is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture.
Godly Play is based on long established, tried and tested approaches.
Godly Play encourages participants to make meaning for themselves by inviting them into stories and providing the opportunity for them to connect the stories with their personal experience.
Godly Play is a non-coercive way to encourage people to move into larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering questions and open-ended response time.
Godly Play values process, openness and discovery.
Godly Play is a way of preparing children to join in the worship and life of their congregations as they develop a deeper understanding of stories, symbols and rites.
Website Links: Godly Play Homepage http://www.
Godly Play Video: www.godlyplayfoundation.org/
At Mountainside we say that parenting is both a shared vocation and a spiritual discipline. Our hope is to carry this value through the adolescent years. We seek to move toward and engage preteens and teenagers where they are as they journey through adolescence, keeping them connected with their families and with the church body even as we help them explore faith in age-appropriate contexts.
Our preteen/middle school ministry is called “Confirmation,” and we follow a monthly rhythm that includes:
- Two Sundays each month in age-level ministry during part of worship. In this time we engage God through scripture and prayer practices.
- One Sunday each month serving in some way, either working with younger kids or serving beyond the church building and body.
- One Sunday each month participating in the full worship service alongside the congregation, learning to engage practices of worship as well as being a visible sign of God’s work through young people in our midst.
- Outside of Sunday mornings, meeting with a 1-1 mentor once each month to talk about the intersections of life and faith.