On your marks
Many children’s leaders have found the style of storytelling that has been developed within Godly Play to be a very helpful and effective way of opening up the Bible with children. At BRF, we have been experimented with some additional stories from scripture presented in this style, and we are making them available so you can try them out with your children’s group and we would be interested in any feedback on how they were received.
This is a children’s version of Ephesians 1:3-10. Ideally you should tell this without a script – there’s not much to learn and the visuals will help you remember it all. Tell it very slowly and deliberately, keeping your attention focused on the visuals as you lay them out. Give the children space to listen to what God is saying to them. When you have finished telling the story, leave a short space and then use the wondering questions written out for you at the end of the piece.
For this presentation you will need the following items, choosing or making 3D objects that are both simple and attractive:
- a nice gift box to hold all the materials
- a red heart shape, about 75 cm long made from card, wrapping paper or felt. (I found three squares of felt cut into three thirds of a heart worked well and had Trinitarian overtones!)
- a basket with about 10 people figures in it – ‘Godly Play’ people of God, or Lego/Playmobil
- or cut-outs from card
- a nightlight and matches.
1 Some people try to tell us what God is like through words. Paul was trying to explain to some Christians just how much God loved them, so he wrote them a letter. He wrote:
2 God our Father loves us so much!
Lay out a big red heart
He chose us before he even made the world
Pick out five figures from a basket and place them on the heart in a circle
3 He chose us to be holy.
Place a lit nightlight on the heart among the figures
He chose us as his adopted daughters and sons.
Kiss your finger and touch each figure
So we can have all the good things that come from being princes and princesses with Jesus in God’s kingdom.
4 Together with Jesus… we can cuddle up close to God;
Cup your hands around the figures
…when we do something wrong
Blow out the candle
God will put it right;
…and God lets us into his secret plans.
Bring out four more figures from the basket and place them in the circle of figures on the heart
5 Now allow some time and space for thinking about this. You could ask some questions like the ones below. Remember some children will prefer to keep their thoughts to themselves and shouldn’t be forced to share out loud. In the questions, you may like to find out the children’s view of what they would like the world to know about God and how they and the church can share this.
I wonder what do you like best about God. Touch the heart
I wonder what do you like best about being a son or daughter of God. Touch a figure on the heart
I wonder what would you like other people/children to know about God. Pick out a figure still in the basket
I wonder what you can do to you let them know this about God.
I wonder what your church can do to let them know this about God.