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For Church Leaders

Why Host Play Without Ceasing at Your Church?

Play Without Ceasing uses imaginative improvisational play and reflective prayer to transform  people's expectations and experiences of Christ and the church.

Through immersive, whole-self engagement, participants learn the way children do: through the power of play. Playing together, they learn courage, love, creativity and action in community.

Fun interactive games communicate simple but profound concepts. Then, everyone moves into a time of private guided prayer, focusing on the themes they just learned. Finally, everyone confirms their discoveries through open group sharing.

The result is a radical and lasting shift in spiritual understanding and practice, accomplished in a very short period time. 

Participants walk away with follow-up invitations to engage with and rehearse the concepts at home, firmly rooting the learning in their hearts and lives.

Church leaders, missionaries, spiritual directors and lay Christians have all participated in Play Without Ceasing workshops and retreats. People of all levels of Christian maturity have shared how the experience profoundly affected their spiritual lives, ministries, and relationships.

And, frankly, it's just a whole lot of fun!

Desired Outcomes

Over the course of one event, Play Without Ceasing affects participants’ spiritual life and practice by:

  • Igniting Enthusiasm for Personal and Corporate Spiritual Growth

Duty and self-discipline can only carry us so far in our spiritual journey. Laboring in our own strength, we eventually run out of energy, interest and/or desire. The cure for burnout is enthusiasm. Play and fun are what reignite enthusiasm for our first love. This is true in all relationships, including our relationships with God and the church.

  • Breaking Down Barriers to Successful Team Work

In our individualistic culture, church members may not even be aware of personal habits that work against healthy group functioning. Play Without Ceasing participants quickly learn how they might be contributing to team dysfunction, even as they learn and practice new ways of contributing to shared goals.

  • Sharing the Gospel through Storytelling

God is the Great Storyteller, and we are made in his image. Re-telling biblical stories in new and inventive ways, Scripture springs to life in the imagination of both hearers and tellers. Participants also discover God as a character in their personal stories, learning that each one of us has a part to play in God’s great narrative. Telling stories becomes an easy, fun and effective way to connect with the world.

Intended Audience

Adult Christians (older teens and up), up to 50 participants per workshop.

Ministry teams, particularly those in crisis, can benefit greatly from the bonding and constructive group teachings in Play Without Ceasing.

No experience is necessary, the exercises are designed for all personality types, and any physical limitations will be accommodated. Participants simply bring a Bible, a journal, and something to write with, and wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Facilities Requirements

Play Without Ceasing is refreshingly low-tech and easy to accommodate in most church facilities.

  • A single room large enough to hold all the participants, allowing them to stand in a circle with space to move their arms around

  • Movable chairs, one for each participant

  • A movable white board or easel for a flip chart

  • Two or three tables for display of materials, snacks and drinks.

  • Access to the grounds or other parts of the facility where participants can find a quiet space to pray.

Past Events

Play Without Ceasing has been offered at churches and organizations across North America and Europe.

  • SentWell Ministries, Malaga, Spain

  • SHARE Education Services Conference, Budapest, Hungary

  • Ethne Tean, Novo, Novi Sad, Serbia

  • Contemplative Center of Silicon Valley, Saratoga, CA

  • Selah Center, Seattle, WA

  • Redeemed Seasons and Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Colorado Springs, CO

  • Healing Care Mandate International, Dublin, OH

  • St. Paul's-on-the-Hill Anglican Church, Pickering, ON, Canada

  • Ascension Anglican Church, Bakersfield, CA

  • Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, Three Rivers, CA

  • All Shall Be Well Conference, Bel Air Church, Los Angeles, CA

  • St. Silas Church, Glasgow, Scotland

  • Camp Camilla, Belfast, Northern Ireland

  • Awaken My Soul Day, Woodhaven Presbyterian Church, Irving, TX

  • First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, Dallas, TX

  • Spiritual Ministries Institute, Dallas, TX

  • Irving Bible Church, Irving, TX

  • Reality SF, San Francisco, CA

  • Sylvan Way Baptist Church, Bremerton, WA

  • Markham Baptist Church, Markham, ON, Canada

  • Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, ON, Canada

  • St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Toronto, ON, Canada

  • Institute for Spiritual Formation, Biola University, La Mirada, CA

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