I always love hearing from folks who have just discovered PlayFull. Reading or hearing their enthusiastic words of support and encouragement lights my fire!
On Saturday, a person whom I've never met wrote me an email saying they heard about PlayFull from a newsletter sent out by another organization. She said she'd love to hear more!
I was able to answer her query today. Since she'd never heard about PlayFull before this weekend, I gave her a little overview of who we are and what we do. As I wrote my reply, I thought: "Well, I suppose others might find this information helpful, too." So...I thought I'd share a slightly edited version here. (Crazy idea, eh? J )
How nice to hear from you…Thanks for expressing interest in PlayFull. It’s always encouraging to know folks are interested in what we do…I’d love to chat with you to hear what struck a chord with you, and to hear what you’re up to. Who knows? Maybe PlayFull could be of help, somehow. J
PlayFull is dedicated to helping people and organizations play from the inside out. As I describe PlayFull to folks who are just getting to know us, I often boil it down to three modes: PlayDates, PlayGroups, and Consulting.
1. PlayDates: these are one-off events where we gather a group of folks together to explore a given topic through playful activities. For example, towards the end of September we’ll host a PlayDate in Chicago that will introduce folks to the enneagram, a tool that helps people understand themselves and others better. The enneagram presents a freeing approach for personal growth and it’s useful in building healthy teams, too.
In early October I'm planning on heading to Denver to host a PlayDate with an organization that works in some very challenging arenas. One portion of what they do involves hosting inter-faith dialogues with Jews, Muslims and Christians. I'm looking forward to facilitating some playful (theatrical!) activities with them that they can use in their peacemaking work.
Of course, PlayDates could be on almost any topic: prayer, racial reconciliation, marriage, Christian formation, conflict transformation, interpersonal communication, and so forth.
2. PlayGroups: these are small groups of people (numbering anywhere from 6 to 26 folks) that are similar to PlayDates but they meet regularly for a set period of time. For example, a PlayGroup could meet once a month for five or six months or once a week for 3 or 4 months.
An example: PlayFull is developing a series of 12 stories that are taken from the Bible that could be used in intergenerational small group settings. The 12 stories will articulate a theology of play and they’ll include objects and question-prompts to help people wonder about a familiar story in a free kind of way. Through this process called "wondering" participants will see old stories in a new light.
PlayFull offers different types of consulting. Here are three examples...
A. PlayFull offers training in a type of children’s ministry that is similar to Godly Play.
B. PlayFull conducts team building events (anywhere from a four-hour workshop to a 3-day retreat). These events help participants understand one another better, establish healthy habits/protocols for teaming, and develop vision together.
C. PlayFull also offers coaching, organizational development and leadership development tools. One tool I particularly enjoy using is a playful process designed to help teams discover their collective core values.
That said, the common ingredient in whatever we do is…play! This is because we see play as one of the world’s greatest untapped resources and we want to do what we can to help folks “play from the inside out”. If we can help cultivate an understanding of the nature and scope of play, we believe folks will apply it to whatever challenges they or their group may be facing.
Let me know if you’d like to talk more. I’m interested to hear what you’re about and why PlayFull struck a chord with you. If you like, we could chat on the phone. I’ll be happy to arrange a time to talk.
I hope you enjoyed that little window into my world! :) I feel so blessed to be doing what I do.
And, remember: what I said to my new friend goes for you, too! Feel free to drop me a line. Let’s play together…