Diddy Disciples is Bible storytelling, prayer and worship especially for babies, toddlers and young children. We aim to create a space for children to encounter God for themselves, inviting them to discover, explore and take an active part not only in telling Bible stories but in all forms of Christian worship. We use movement, imagination, our faces and bodies, symbols, creative activities, music and song to encourage and enable young children to participate fully.
Sessions have an overall structure but are led by the worship of the children so may change shape and structure during the session to accommodate imagination and interpretation.
Diddy Disciples celebrates seven key principles:
Movement – We accept and celebrate body language as the first language of many young children, as well as encouraging, in small doses, the use of words and stillness before God. We provide opportunities to worship God and tell Bible stories through movement.
Repetition – A clear, familiar pattern that begins to give children the confidence to take part fully and encourages them to take the lead.
Voices – Singing enables babies and children to join in worshipping God at a level that is appropriate to them: from listening and swaying, through moving and dancing, to joining in with the actions and even with some of the words.
Spirituality – Children have a sense of God and spirituality from before birth. We believe it’s the Church’s responsibility to try and make connections with and nurture children’s already-present spirituality, rather than attempt to build spirituality from scratch.
Being part of the Church – We see our babies and children as full members of our worshipping community. We aim to build two way bridges between the child’s spiritual insights and the traditional spiritual language of the church. We offer babies and children the opportunity to experience and learn the rhythm of the Church’s worship: to appreciate there are times of joy and singing, times to lad and times to be led, times to take turns, times of quiet and internal reflection, times of bustle and activity. Diddy Disciples is not playing at being church, it is being the Church.
Learning – We want to lay foundations that will help build up a people of God who naturally bring their life with God into their home life and work, and their home life and work into their life with God. We accept children as they are and tries to help children make connections between their experiences of learning and their life with God.
Feelings and Emotions – We take the examples set by the Bible seriously and aim to build a people of God who are comfortable and experienced in bringing all sorts of feelings before God, in hope and trust, ready to see even negative emotions transformed by God into something beautiful, holy and life-giving.