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This is the second part of our Using Talents for God series, where we talk about all of our different talents and how we can use them for God—in obvious and not so obvious ways. This one is centered on art. I love drawing and painting and sculpting. Lots of my Children’s Church kids do too.
You can check out the first part of the series here.
And if you are curious about some of my artwork, you can check that out here. Anyway. Through this lesson, I wanted my students and myself to have a good discussion (AKA there are a lot of questions in here) about art and Jesus.
One thing I really want them to understand is that you don’t have to make art about Jesus for it to praise Jesus. I feel like at church we get hung up on how worship looks. We also get hung up on using talents for God in really church-y ways. Like if you enjoy singing, then the way to honor God in that is that you have to join a worship band. Now, that is a great way to honor God in that talent, but not the only way.
So although you can just focus on “You like art so you have to use it to paint Bible stories”, I tried to hit on that, but also have a broader view.
Like I said before, a huge inspiration for this series was this book by Jeanette Johnson. She spends a chapter talking about art, and honoring God in art. It was really helpful and eye opening for me (I am a musician and an artist but don’t necessarily make music and art only about God), so I am trying to put that on a kid level and show them that all talents can be used for God.
You can check the book out here (and as of right now, the price is pretty good).
Again, this is discussion based, so your lesson may take a different direction then mine did, and that is great. This is how mine went, and how we hit on all of the ideas that I wanted to hit on.
Using Talents for God: Art
- We have been talking about using our talents for God. Today we are going to focus on art. (I have a picture of the list we made in the first lesson that said what all of the kids considered to be their talents. I read the ones that are art-related like baking, fashion, drawing, etc.) Does anyone else have a talent for art?
- So we have a lot of artists in the room. Think for a minute (I always have them point to their temple when I ask them to think to remind them that it should be quiet. You can read more ideas like that in this article.), does God like art? And why do you think that he does or doesn’t?
- Allow a few students to answer and see what they say.
- I definitely think that God likes art! The first reason, is that he created art! God created everything on Earth, including art. He also created everything on Earth. We know that because of the story of creation (You can read parts of the first chapter of Genesis.)
- Show some pictures of animals—you can narrow it down to just birds. Show them penguins, peacocks, flamingos, etc. Tell them, “If God created this many different kinds of birds in all different sizes, shapes, and colors, is God an artist?” (The answer being yes!)
- God also created each and every one of you. Everyone here looks different, acts different, and thinks different. We all have different talents. How did we get our different talents? (Because God gave them to us.)
- So God likes art. We can tell because he created art, he is the original artist, and he gave us the talents for art. Now, how do we use our talents for art for Jesus?
- Allow students to answer the question. Some of their answers may surprise you. One of mine said that we could make pretty cards to help people feel good, which is something I had not thought of. I’ll outline the main things to touch on here:
- Art can lift people’s spirits: Looking at art can make people feel certain ways—happy, calm, peaceful, etc. We can make art to help people feel happy and calm and safe.
- Use art to beautify God’s house: we can use art talents to paint the church to make it pretty and a nice place to be. My church has beautiful murals on the wall that really liven the place up. Michelangelo spent four years painting the Sistine Chapel to make it pretty, and it is still there to this day.
- Bible depictions: We can make pictures and sculptures that tell Bible stories, or use them to tell our testimony.
- Fashion: We can use talents to create modest, fair priced, fun clothing and help other people feel the confidence that comes with a good outfit. This is the moral of the book I talked about earlier. Find it here.
- Have the kids do a craft. We “painted like Michelangelo”. We taped paper to the bottom of chairs and tables and got underneath it to draw pictures of our favorite Bible stories. Super fun! I got the idea here.
Also read: My Kids’ Favorite Church Games
What other ways can we use our art talents for God? What do you want your students to learn from this lesson? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe so that you can get the next part of the series!