Lydia Proudman Centenary Project Worker
Play & Pray - Building Relationships
[by Lydia Proudman, May 2018]
Play and Pray is a new relationship-building venture we have started up with the two local primary schools in Kilnhurst.
One lunch time each week I go into each school to spend lunch time with the children in a particular class. I spend a few weeks or half a term with each class, doing exactly what it says on the tin- playing and then praying! The children can choose if they want to come or not each week; it's entirely up to them. It's usually held in their classroom, where we clear some space and have a fun 40 minutes or so. We work it around their lunch schedule, so sometimes they all go out to eat first then come back, and sometimes we start off with some games, then they go out for their lunch and come back afterwards.
I tailor the games to make sure they're fun and accessible for each year group, and pray in a variety of ways with all sorts of prayer activities.
It's always important that the children know that they don't have to pray if they don't want to, or can pray in their heads or out loud- whatever they're most comfortable with.
Sometimes they ask questions about Jesus or God, so we chat through their questions as best we can, with God's help.
Our aim is to get to know the children in a fun setting and show them a little bit of God's love for them. It makes a big difference when we take assemblies with them because they know us and are more comfortable volunteering to take part in activities or answer questions.
Some of them have even started to come to the afterschool groups we run at church, where we play more games, do some craft and teach a little from the Bible.