Becky Ramsey | Author & Children’s Minister
What is Godly Play?
According to the Godly Play Foundation, Godly Play is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture.
Godly Play is 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.
Read more about Godly Play here.
How do we do Godly Play at First Baptist Greenville?
Christians of many different denominations use Godly Play and probably do it differently, even within the same denomination. In this blog, I describe Godly Play by sharing the way our church does it. That doesn’t mean that it’s the best way or the prescribed way, or the only way, of course, but it’s the way that suits us best.
What are we here for?
We meet here to talk about Godly Play, to share what it’s all about and to discuss how to do it better.
The weekly blog posts are designed to help Sunday school teachers prepare for their Godly Play lessons, and the individual pages (see the tabs at the top of this page) share information about how we do Godly Play at First Baptist Church, Greenville, SC.
We’d love to hear from teachers everywhere, not just the ones at our church! We hope you’ll join our circle and share your ideas!
What Godly Play is Not
Godly Play 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.
Welcome to our lesson for September 20, The Story of Moses, found in Exodus 1:8-17:7, 19:1- 40:38. The script is adapted from the story found in the pink Enrichment Presentations for Fall book, p.58-65. Sunday school teachers, I will emailed you a copy of the adapted script. If you’d like a copy and you’re not at FBG, feel free to email me and I’ll try my best to send it out to you.
The timing of this story works well too with our story schedule, since we will cover the Exodus story next. This adapted script ends right before Moses goes to talk with the Pharaoh, so the Exodus story can be shared as written in its Godly Play script. Be sure to end this story helping the children enjoy the suspense for next week’s lesson. It would be wonderful for them to go home asking what happens next, and reflecting on the story of the day.
Here are some wondering questions, to help them process the story:
Since we’re in the middle of the pandemic and are meeting on Zoom instead of in person, we won’t have our normal art response time. Please encourage our kids to respond on their own there at home by making something for God as a gift honoring the story. Below are the ideas we often suggest as starting points:
1. Children can recreate the Moses in the Reeds scene, as shown here. (Scroll down to the part showing Moses in an Egg Carton Cup) Children can make their own basket and baby Moses using an a cup cut from an egg carton or paper bag- and whatever they like to make Moses (paper or a cotton ball for a head, felt for a blanket, etc). Blue construction paper could be the river and green for the reeds. They could even make the rest of the materials in the Godly Play story basket: a paper chain, a shepherd’s crook, the burning bush.
So that they get more invested in their work, allow them to make as many choices as to how they create the scene as possible.
I’ll have egg cartons, cotton balls, felt, and construction paper on hand on the cart at the end of the hall. Be sure to take photos of their work!
2. What would the burning bush look like? Children can use their imaginations to recreate it with tissue paper or other materials. Look here for another way to represent it. I’ll have tissue paper and stones on hand for you on the cart.
3. Younger kids (1st or 2nd grade?) would LOVE using a water table and setting up the scene with baby baskets and reeds as shown on this precious blog, here. Really! Check it out! You’ll want to join in the fun if you take a look! Let me know if you want to use a water table in your room and I’ll try to borrow one for you!
4. Older children might enjoy videoing a news reporter, interviewing bystanders who’ve observed different parts of Moses’ life first hand. Children could even set it in modern times, if they wanted to. (How would it be different if it happened today?) My camera will be in the drawer. Be sure to video!