I have always had trouble with being called a Godly play teacher. Yet, that is what the the people in the church call me, the parents call me, and the children call me. But it can be misleading. Many automatically link “teaching” to the more common transfer model of education – where the goal of a teacher is to transfer knowledge to a student. Our goal in Godly Play is to help the players in the creation of their own personal meaning, not meaning that belongs to someone else; to support the players as they find new meaning; and to encourage a lifetime of being open to new and deeper meaning. The terms facilitator, guide, or mentor seem more fitting. But really, we are all fellow Godly Players, all on our quest for meaning. Our board in the hall holding name tags makes it appear that we have a huge class. (I prefer to think of us as family, because that’s what we are.) But notice that not all tags belong to someone who is three or four! Inside the room, we sometimes refer to the positions doorperson or storyteller, or refer to an adult by name, but as a subgroup, in our room, we are the grownups in Godly play, not the teachers. Maybe more grown up or oldest people would even be better? Grownup sounds a little finished, and finished, we are not.
The children express a funny (and sometimes shocked) look when they realize that they too, are teachers! What we, as grownup doorpeople and storytellers teach, is how Christian (and all people) can live and work together and take care of the gifts that we have been given. We do this by modeling. This IS where there is a “good way” – a way which we would like them to learn – a way which is also fair to others.
What are Godly Play teachers doing this summer? Hopefully they are swinging, swimming, drawing, exploring, wondering, eating good food, sleeping well at night, and secure in the knowledge that they are loved. What is one older Godly Player doing this summer? Having discovered that the idea for this blog far exceeded personal technical abilities, a goal of this Godly Player is to learn how to post pictures and learn how to use this site! Please do stay tuned.