Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on rethinkingyouthministry.com and is reprinted here with permission.
by Brian Kirk
Sometimes the only way to get a different perspective on Jesus is to force ourselves to see him in a new way.
How often do we miss experiencing God in our midst because we can’t see past the routine of everyday life and our preconceived ideas? In this activity, students are challenged to meditate on an image of Christ and attempt to recreate their own version of that image as a line drawing. The catch? They look at the image upside down and draw it upside down.
Rather than trying simply to reproduce the entire image “as is,” turning it upside down challenges the artist to focus on the various shapes and lines that make up the picture. Perhaps surprisingly, even those who claim they have no skill at drawing can create vivid images when they free themselves to focus only on line, shape, and shadow rather than the entire image. (This activity is based on an exercise in the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.)
Gather a collection of images of Jesus (Do a Google image search to find various portrayals of Jesus). Invite each student to choose one of the pictures that speaks to them in some way. Challenge them to turn it upside down and, using it as a guide, attempt to recreate the lines and shapes of the image just as they see them. Tell them to resist the temptation to try to see the picture right side up in their brains as they draw and just focus on the lines and shapes. Doing so allows our brains to see things in a new way. When finished, invite the students to look at their images right side up and reflect on the experience.
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.