Reposted from Building Faith – by Renee Keen on June 20th, 2016
Creativity and Faith
I have always been struck by creativity in church families. Throughout my adult life I’ve lived in three major cities and have discovered that churches who let congregations express their faith creatively are the ones that have helped me grow the most in my faith.
I currently serve as Director of Children and Family ministries at a PCUSA church just outside of Madison, WI. As a way to encourage our kids and youth to be creative in their faith, we hand out dry erase markers and let them write verses on mirrors. We also leave out markers and chalk on tables with plastic table cloths in one of our rooms. On an average day, I’ll come in and find verses, pictures of crosses, stories of faith, prayers, and even questions they have for God. Our students are allowed to express doubts, fears, joys and anything else their hearts desire.
Mirrors & Markers
The idea of forming faith with dry erase markers started a few years ago, while I was living with two extraordinary women of faith in Chicago. When we moved in I bought dry erase markers for our household calendar. A week or two into living together, I began using them to write scripture on our bathroom mirror, as I was usually the first one awake in the morning. I never thought of it as a big deal; the Bible verses were just a fun thing to do each day. Then one of my roommates mentioned how encouraging it was, and we soon made it a tradition in our apartment.
When I started at this church I brought the idea with me. I encourage families with kids and teens to write Bible verses as a fun activity at home. You might be surprised by how much excitement it sparks in kids when they are able to write scripture or a message on a mirror when they first wake up. It’s fascinating to see what they remember from past sermons, Sunday School or the Children’s moment. Finally, this practice also giving teachers and family members a great way to understand when kids or teens are experiencing doubts or working through hard questions.
Little Ideas Strengthen Faith
The idea of writing a verse on a bathroom mirror seemed like a simple idea, yet it had a lasting impact. Consider the people in your congregation and how ideas like this can help them on their spiritual journeys.
Students leaving for college
Kids and teens
Often times it’s the simple ideas that help us in forming Christian faith. Give kids and teens dry erase markers and let them express their faith, no matter where they are in their journey. Provide families with dry erase markers and a note encouraging them to get creative with their faith. It may just move mountains for you and your congregation!
Never doubt your ideas, even if they seem simple to you at first. I often wonder if the churches I attended growing up have any idea the impact they had on me and my faith. My prayer is that, for the kids at our church, I can provide even half that impact, as we move through our faith journeys together.
Renee Keen is the Director of Children and Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Waunakee, Wisconsin where she shares in ministering to over 200 children through Vacation Bible School, Christmas programs, Sunday School, and Kingdom Kids. Renee has worked in arts management while participating in ministry programs such as GRIP Outreach for Youth, Chicago Hopes and World Relief.