Occasionally, I take the kids out to the playground so they can blow off some steam in the fresh air. The weather has been very accomodating the last few days for this to happen. These are a few photos I took last Sunday.
Play is serious business for kids. It is their work, in a manner of speaking. In play, they act out the things that concern them. They also can learn social skills, leadership traits, practice ways to reconcile when they disagree, and simply be children. Learning to be present, yet non-intrusive with children while they play is a valuable skill. We can observe while they go about their business. We can interact without interfering, especially when invited. We can maintain adult parameters of respect while embracing childlike humor and interaction when appropriate. Both structured and unstructured play are important tools in my ministry toolbelt. Rather than simply being an addon to ministry activities, play is a part of the larger philosophy of ministry which informs my approach to pastoring children.