What is Godly Play?
The video below is produced by another church, but it will give you a good feel for what our Godly Play program is like. It’s only about six minutes long. You can read more about our program here at First Presbyterian Church below the video.
Godly Play is an innovative method of Christian education that helps children recognize, explore and strengthen their innate sense of God’s presence. This is done using some very traditional elements of the Christian faith – parables, Bible stories, silence and liturgical actions – but it is quite different from traditional models of teaching.
Traditionally, teachers have a predefined idea about what lessons a child should take away from a Bible story, and oftentimes use entertaining activities to engage the child. Godly play instead engages children in a creative process of discovering how each story of God’s people connects to the child’s own experience and relationship with God. Through curiosity and imagination, kids experience and grow in the mystery and joy of God.
What to expect at Godly Play?
Each child is welcomed to Godly Play and joins a circle with the story teller on the floor. Children are encouraged to “get themselves ready”. In short, kids learn how to become still and quiet and to listen to God’s word. The story teller, using small props of characters and core elements of a Bible story, guides the children through the story. At the end through a series of “I wonder…” questions, children explore and ponder on the meaning of the story. Afterwards, children are invited to express what they took away from the story through “open response” time. Open response is a time for children to retell the story, or draw or make something that captures what was important to them in the story.
When do we offer Godly Play?
On Sunday mornings after the children’s sermon during worship, young children are dismissed to go to the Godly Play room and on Wednesday evenings following the Family Night Supper meal which begins at 6:00 p.m. The lesson begins at 6:30 p.m.
Godly Play for Developmentally Disabled Adults
Because Godly Play is a process that meets people where they are, it is an ideal educational experience for developmentally disabled adults. When we recognized this we entered into a partnership with a local ministry, Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, who were already working with developmentally disabled adults. Now on each Wednesday evening, one or more house groups from Evergreen join us for Family Night Supper at 6:00 p.m. and then enjoy a Godly Play lesson in the annex where we have created a second Godly Play room.
With Opportunities, Inc…
The 3rd Sunday of every month, dedicated volunteers from FPC goto Opportunities, Inc and lead worship. The worship is almost identical to our worship here on Sunday mornings with the exception that a Godly Play story is done as the sermon. Each service includes the sacrament of communion.
The clients help lead worship by handling many parts of the service and in place of an offering, clients share how they know Jesus loves them. It is a moving experience. Guests are welcome to come. Please speak to one of our co-pastors if you would like to experience this unique worship opportunity.
Become a Story Teller or Door Keeper
Actually assisting with Godly Play is a fun and rewarding way to share God’s Word that anyone can do, even if you don’t think of yourself as a teacher.
Begin a story teller is easy because the stories have scripts and cue cards to aid the story tellers, plus, you don’t have to have all of the answers. You just facilitate exploring the story through “I wonder…” questions.
Interested? Visit and watch on a Wednesday or Sunday.