Been involved with Hoole Baptist Church helping run the play experiment.

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The basic play experiment process.
1: Stimulus
2: Listening
3: Creating
4: Sharing/using
… pictures have been shared that encouraged…. in a very practical sense, an event was staged to raise money to help buy a special bike for someone in need.
Why are we bothering? Because we want the children to discover their place in the body of Christ, not only in the ‘church sunday’ but in the wider world.

Basically we want to enable the children to take their place in the body of Christ, both in a church ‘sunday’ context  and also out in life in the wider world. We’re trying to do that by creating the space for them to hear play and experiment (irrespective of skill) to discover how they express themselves, encourage them listen to some; music, issue, or need… hear Gods promptings, and then to come up with their own expressions/actions regarding it. Then share / use those expressions/actions with others to encourage and strengthen them.

We want them to find their role within the group… the church…. the world. We want them to know themselves, to know they have a place, that they fit. We want them to experience life, listen, hear from God, react in their own way and encourage and strengthen others through what they do, how they are and the role they play.

Maybe if we allow ourselves to be the people God designed us to be, we would bring a little of his glory into the world. Maybe this isn’t only for children.

This is about creating a space to discover how we hear from God, then experiment in how we express that and be able to share those things with others to encourage and strengthen them… hopefully, through this process of experimenting in a safe place, we can we can discover our role in life and make a difference by being the person God designed us to be. We are enough, God can use us as we are.

Play Experiment 1Here is a free space to have a go at anything based on sound, construction, movement, words or images. Made note of who did what  and what qualities they showed.

Play Experiment 2 Here’s some stimulus (music) listen and then experiment in all the areas to create something as a reaction to it. Sometimes God sometimes speaks to use through the ideas we have.

Play Experiment 3 – Here’s some stimulus (music) Choose 1 area to experiment in. Allow time for sharing creations in group and for leaders to draw out what might be being said through the creations. We are all made different and God can use what we do to encourage, enable and strengthen others.

Play Experiment 4 – Here is someone in need. Listen to the desires / ideas you have to help when you hear her story, create some thing or something to perform to raise money to help her. find a role in putting on the fundraising event. You have seen an issue, ‘heard’ your desires (listened to Holy spirit), created something that made sense for you and used that in a very practical sense to help someone in need (£165 raised to buy a special tricycle). The event couldn’t have happened without you all playing your part. A body only functions when

Play Experiment 5 –  Here is Christmas! Express something about your understanding of Christmas using either: Drama, Song writing or drawing. Come back together leaders lead sharing to rest of group.

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Whats next?

We now want to give the children opportunity for their creations to be used with the rest of the church family.

We want to give the rest of the church family opportunities to get involved with the play experiment and bring their enthusiasms / roles / skills (however they express themselves)… so others who like to express themselves through drama work together, come along and join in, or music, or dance, or fundraising events or praying, or sculpture or cake making or organising or preaching or performing. Just a group of people creating, sharing and discipling each other.

That’s why I want to invite the parents of the play experiment children to stay at a session.    To listen, create, share, encourage, listen, create, share, encourage…

and then…

I see a gathering of listening to some stimulus, listening and playing and experimenting, and sharing what we create / come up with / are led to, all together… and then reacting to that again… and so the process continues. Maybe a conversation with God ongoing.

Sort of a ….
Here’s something to think about, or ‘what’s on your mind’…
Here’s a space and time to react to that in your own way.
Here’s a space and time to share that with others.
Here’s a space to listen to what that means to others.
It’s a conversation… Attempting to release what is being said by God?

Maybe we all then play our part in this ‘worship’, and God can use us to bring his desires out into the open for all all to see.

Maybe the play experiment is a way of discovering how to ‘worship’ in our own way but with others.
It’s a (listen) bring and share.

Its a bit like this…

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