Breaking Down the Barriers

(Youth project)

(Resource Pack 47 ) KEY STAGE 3

Visual Aids: The football rattle, the Jenga bricks and ‘Godly play figures’ of the story of Jesus rebuking his disciples for chasing away the children, and saying, ‘Suffer the little children and let them come to me.’ (Matthew 19 13-15)

Idea for a project with older children, looking at the possible barriers which may exist between church and community.

First show the Godly Play bible story above, then afterwards replace the disciple figures, with a set of Jenga bricks, (to look like a wall) and we are going to ask if they can think of any reasons why some people never come close to God and never go to church to worship Him?

We’re also going to explore what they expect to see AND what they’d like to find there when they go.

Open the questioning session, with a football rattle, with statements such as…

My friend has her reasons for never going to a football match…

BECAUSE none of the players are from her area

...she used to like the manager but he left

...she would feel strange going on her own…

The crowds are scary, some hooligans will bully me etc

Add more, and ask could there be similar reasons why people do not get involved in worship.

SOME RESULTS: The findings can all be examined in pack number 47. Many strong similarities were found between church and football. They make interesting reading.

For example:-

MY FRIEND’S REASONING: A football stadium is a dark place. She went there once when they scattered someone’s ashes. THE STUDENTS ARGUED: It’s not a dark place at all, that was a one-off. It’s usually bright and friendly, and is lit up at nights.

MY FRIEND’S REASONING: She’s afraid someone will say she is a football fanatic if she starts going…THEY ARGUED: Then stand up for what you believe, it doesn’t really matter what people say!

MY FRIEND’S REASONING: I don’t care for the manager! THEY ARGUED: You don’t go there because of a good manager...but it helps.

Worship Experience follows: A large candle has been lit and a quiet space made ready.

We are going to end with a quiet time listening to a song, (I’m coming back to the heart of Worship by G Kendrick…ending with the lighting of votive candles before returning to school.