Review: Diddy Disciples

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“People who learn to ‘sit still and be quiet’ in church during the early years of their life are more likely to continue to ‘sit still and be quiet in church as adults.”

Sharon had me with this quote… let me give a few headlines and then you can read what else I discovered:

Title: Diddy Disciples

Author: Sharon Moughtin-Mumby

Published by: SPCK

Price: £30

Best bit: My most favourite part is the underlying assumption that children can worship from the earliest of ages, that they can take part and even lead if we give them the opportunity, and that there is such richness brought to the rest of the church when we do so. I also loved having original song lyrics to traditional tunes including a well-explained, simple and effective way of teaching songs to young children (and adults!)

Worst bit: This book is more Anglican than it thinks it is 😉 Although this material is designed to be used by anyone wanting to provide real worship for young children, it does lend itself very well to an Anglican church, for example, the building blocks map neatly onto the building blocks of a liturgical service and there are some brilliant explanations and actions to go with various words said in a Book of Common Prayer Service. Saying this, I don’t go to an Anglican church and I’d happily use it. The inside of this book is black and white, with lots of text. I’d’ve liked more symbols and pictures, but then I’m a visual learner.

Useful for: Anyone wanting to take young children’s faith and worship seriously. The material is aimed at groups but could easily be used at home too.

“Diddy Disciples is based on the belief that. if we aim to build up a people of God who take part fully in worship, who are willing to lead and open to seeing how the stories we tell from the Bible are relevant to the way we live life, then this approach must begin during these first years. To put it another way, people who learn to ‘sit still and be quiet’ in church during the early years of their life are more likely to continue to ‘sit still and be quiet in church as adults, not becoming actively involved, or at least needing a lot of support to move beyond that way of being.” (p3)

My first thought about this book was that it’s BIG! I had seen the price and wondered. However, there is SO much in this book (over 260 pages) with material for a whole term of weekly sessions, although of course you can easily use it to dip into at any time and it could last a long time (saying that, I’m looking forward to the next one which will have Easter in it!).

This book is packed with original ideas and carefully explained ways to do worship with under 5s. It doesn’t assume you know lots or have done it before, and gives carefully chosen options so you can work out what will suit your situation. It has seven principles: celebrating movement, repetition, our voices, children’s spirituality, being part of the church, learning and our feelings and emotions. The Bible stories are really interactive, and care has been taken include ways of explaining new concepts (such as light dawning), as well as

There’s a lot of thought, experience and wisdom gone into the making of this material, which makes something quite difficult (involving very young children in worship) seem very accessible. apparent as the ideas are explained simply and seem very easy to adopt. I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to make a space for young children to worship as part of an adult service, in their own group or even at home together.