If there's one thing I am a near expert on, it's how to do "church-in-a-box". None of the church plants that I have been involved in, whether in Russia, the US or Germany, have ever owned their own building! As a result, transporting things and setting up spiritual spaces in creative places has become a way of life for me. I've turned kitchens, classrooms and other small places into Godly Play rooms on many occasions. So, when the local church near our school generously offered us the only room that wasn't previously taken for Advent festivities, I was ready.
One of the biggest jobs is actually transporting the materials. With Godly Play, you always have lots of stuff, so it's not uncommon for religion teachers in Germany to carry around a suitcase or trolley with their GP stuff in it. Since I always have art supplies, art boards, and cushions (to sit on) in addition to the actual story materials, I need a bicycle trailer to get it all around. Where I live in Berlin, a car isn't always terribly helpful, since it is impossible to find a parking space!
|Unloading the bicycle trailer in front of the church office.|
When I first walked into the room (below) where we were to meet, I wasn't sure how we would fit 10 children and 3 adults in here. With the pastor's permission, I basically cleared out the entire room and put most of the furniture and objects in the room next door. This made the room almost twice as big and you can tell by looking at the cushions below, we could all easily fit even if we were a little snug.
I removed everything from the desk in front of the room and made a focus table with the Christ candle, cross, and two of the three stories that I would be telling.
Then, I relocated everything that was on the lower shelves, so that I could place the art supplies that the children would be using there.
And then, I just prayed that God would come and make this a joyful and welcoming space for the five boys (did I mention that they are very active boys?!) and five girls that would be coming. And though we were rubbing elbows (literally) at times, it worked beautifully!
For more about setting up Godly Play rooms, please see the post, Godly Play 101: The Space, and the commentary that ensues.