David Pritchard, is a Children’s Ministry Coordinator with Scripture Union Spain and a certified Godly Play teacher trainer.
As Godly Play has been developing over many years (since the 1970s), it has been possible to discern how particular forms of words are best able to help tell the essence of each story presentation. There are well-tested scripts for stories told in Godly Play style that say only what has to be said, and do so in a way that children seem to absorb the language into their own ‘play’ and in the case of older children, into their spoken and written prayer. The emphasis is on simplicity, getting to the essence of the story rather than ‘exciting’ elaboration.
In Godly Play there are usually 2 (but no more) adults present. Each has a carefully distinguished role. The ‘story-teller’ leads group time, tells story and focuses on the presentation of God’s word – and as such is more ‘spiritually’ engaged. The ‘door-person’ helps in more practical ways like an usher or deacon assistant. The door-person also may sit to one side with any child who is finding it really hard to focus in the group – i.e. deals with the behavior issues in a way that tries not to disrupt the rest of the group wherever possible.
A key element in the Storyteller’s role is to lead the ‘wondering’ period in response to the story or presentation. Key wondering questions are:
I wonder what you like best about this story
I wonder which is the most important part?
I wonder where you are in this story?
I wonder if there is any part we could leave out, and still have all the story we need?