Draw(ing) the Circle Wide

Thanks to Building Faith’s Rev. Ebony Grisom for sharing this Great Idea – which includes audited Godly Play resource!

Rev. Ebony Grisom, Godly Play Trainer, member of both the Godly Play Anti-Racism Task Force and Godly Play Equity Audit Team, and author of, Would We Still Mourn Jesus as a Black God-man?: A Reflection on the Faces of Easter, offers a brief overview in Drawing the Circle Wide: The Antiracist Work of Godly Play’s Equity Audit.

Rev. Grisom and Godly Play base their work on Ibram X. Kendi’s definition of racism: ‘a marriage of racist policies and racist ideas that produces and normalizes racial inequities’. They interrupt the dampening query about age-appropriateness by citing the American Psychological Association’s finding that ‘children are aware of racial difference as early as infancy’ (see full article here).

Grisom uses gerunds (verbs used as nouns by adding, ‘ing‘) throughout her article, ‘to convey that this work is ongoing’: it is not a quick-fix or once-and-done process. To be meaningful and effective, the work needs to be thorough and become part of general operating systems and mind-sets.

Rev. Grisom writes, ‘This is big, important work that has societal and eschatological ramifications. Just as the work differs for every person in the Circle, every community’s work is different.’

Outlining Godly Play’s approach, Grisom includes leading questions that invite congregational leaders to undertake the same important work in their context.

Reading the full article (here) is highly encouraged, but the guiding questions include:


  • Do you notice anyone missing?
  • Are there any policies that exclude others from participation, unintentionally or intentionally?
  • Do any voices need amplification?
  • What will your work be?’


  • How might you respond to what has emerged?
  • Can you identify two or three S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based) responses to get your community started?


  • What bars of entry might be lowered or eliminated in order to draw the Circle wide?


  • What work has God given you to do in your community?
  • Will you join Godly Play in their work?
  • How might we reflect, remember, respond, and work anew?
  • How wide can we draw the Circle if we work together?

Though concise, this overview serves as an invitation and potential outline for any and all congregations to undertake the necessary and difficult work of auditing their own resources: curriculum for all ages, hospitality training, worship – music, liturgy, even Bible texts, and general operating systems.

The Ministry Lab can connect congregations with additional resources for auditing any and all areas of ministry to make for more equitable, just, and hospitable communities for all God’s Beloved Children.