Over the past 40 years, Godly Play has found its way into churches, hospitals, and care facilities across the globe, and Godly Play circles gather in over 40 countries! From Jerome Berryman offering us a new way of forming children in the Christian tradition to a widely practiced methodology with supporting theological and pedagogical research and publications, the spread of Godly Play has always been primarily organic in nature. It is astounding to consider all that has happened from stories told at just the right time in just the right place. It is an aspect of our Godly Play culture—that growth happens through relationship—which we endeavor to foster and support.
Along these lines, the Godly Play Foundation Board of Directors, staff, and Trainers are excited to announce a new pilot program in the United States: Godly Play Missioners. The goal for Missioners is to bring Godly Play to the world and to bring the world to Godly Play. Through gatherings, introductory sessions, stories in “outside the box” locations, and concentrated work with existing programs including reaching out to people who we have trained, we are hopeful that these volunteer Missioners will work to change the world through Godly Play. We envision Missioners becoming the bridge for programs needing support before or after attending Core or Advanced Training.
In considering who could help us pilot this new program, we looked to Godly Play practitioners who are already doing the work of Missioners. This small pilot group has well-established networks and has been hosting trainings and working with us for years; they are already known to carry stories in their cars and insert Godly Play language into everyday conversation. The goal of the Foundation is to formalize our relationship with the pilot Missioners and to provide them with the information and resources to further their work. We will gather together this April to inaugurate this relationship, this program, and this work at a pilot Missioner Orientation.
Once the pilot program is fully implemented, it is our great hope to offer Missioner Orientations throughout the United States. We know there are many other passionate Godly Players who are called to further their Godly Play journey—Godly Players who are also already doing the work of Missioners. Our plan is to offer Missioner Orientations regionally to make it more accessible, and we hope that cohorts of local volunteer Missioners will work together to bring Godly Play to the world—and the world to Godly Play—through their regional relationships.
While an expanded national program is in the future, if you feel called to explore the role of a volunteer Missioner, we invite you to express interest through our online form.
And most importantly, we thank you for your prayers as we do this big work that we have been given to do!