Monday, August 16, 2010

Creating a safe and welcoming space

Here's an extract from a summary report on the work of the Coming Generations Track at last year's Scripture Engagement Forum at Melaka, Malaysia. The full report can be found here.
The Coming Generations track comprised about 40 people from every continent [...] The main themes of the track focused on how we can release the potential of young people’s interaction with God’s word [...]

Creating a safe and welcoming space

When young people perceive that we are listening and authentically sharing our own lives with them, a safe space is created where they can feel confident to explore Scripture. In such a space, we are affirming that no question or comment will be rejected and that no right/wrong response will be demanded.

Godly Play® models an approach that provides a safe sacred space for children to explore the Bible. Led by David Pritchard, we were - as children - invited slowly and thoughtfully into the story of the Old Testament patriarchs in ways that engaged our imagination and left us ‘wondering’ at the mystery of God, and at his invitation to be part of his story. This was a space characterised more by silence and simplicity than noise or clutter. As we became engrossed in the story, the storyteller (David Pritchard) became almost invisible: direct connection had been made between the story and the ‘children’. This is a deliberate intention in Godly Play®.

In a safe space, what is the role of the adult? We were challenged to take a step back and let God do what he wants to do in the group and among its individuals - to allow the Bible, his word, to speak for itself [...]

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