I will be honest. When I look in the mirror I don’t often say, “Wow! That dude is a masterpiece!” I can easily get down on myself for not looking like, or feeling like, a work of art. Good thing that God doesn’t see in me all the things that I get hung up on. When God looks at you, and me, He sees a masterpiece! Don’t believe me? Read Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are God’s masterpiece.”
We were all created by Jesus to do good works. So, if we are a work of art made by Jesus to be like Jesus we are pretty special! Think for a moment about one of the things that Jesus does. He creates all the things we see in the universe (Colossians 1:16). He is an artist. The best artist! So if we are to be like him we too can be great artists.
Sounds good, but how can you put that into practice in your disability ministry? Let me give you an example of how this played out for me recently.
As I prepared for my latest lesson teaching about the flood account in Genesis chapter 7 I decided to find out if I had any Picassos in my group with an Artist Contest.
For this activity, all you need are the following.
One of the best things you can do in disability ministry is to set up your activity early without telling your group exactly what you are doing.
Instant suspense is always fun. Your group will want to know exactly what you are doing.
I set out a basket of markers and two blank pieces of posterboard on two easels in the front of the room before our class got started.
As I was setting up one of the easels I heard a young lady crying behind me. She was sitting in the front row with one of our amazing volunteers. I asked what was wrong and was told this was the first time in her life that her parents had ever dropped her off somewhere and not stayed in the building. She was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
To help her take her mind off of her uneasiness I asked her if she liked art. Instantly her face lit up. She grabbed her phone and started scrolling through the photos. She proceeded to show me all of the artwork she had created and taken pictures of. Knowing that I was going to do an Artist Contest during my lesson I decided to ask her if she would be willing to be one of my artists. Having this to look forward to completely changed her outlook for the day. Amazing how God works!
When it came time to start my lesson I hyped up my Artist Contest.
Many wanted to participate and it was hard to pick my second artist. If you want to avoid this conundrum bring lots of extra poster board! Because I was only prepared for two artists I did "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" to decide. Juvenile? Maybe. At the moment I didn’t know what to do.
I gave my artists their instructions and off they went!
What were they drawing? I only gave them only two instructions since I was teaching about the flood from Genesis chapter 7.
• Your masterpiece must show that it was a “global flood”
• Your masterpiece must show that Noah’s ark was safely floating above the flood waters
I told them before I started that they had the entire lesson time to finish their masterpieces. We would judge their artwork after my lesson. It was thrilling to watch them work and to see the group watching them work while I taught. There was no distraction at all.
They did an amazing job! The only fair thing to do was to award them both with prizes and declare the Artist Contest a tie.
Afterward, I asked both artists if they wanted to keep their artwork. The second artist that I chose by playing "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" jumped at the opportunity. Even though I did not know who to pick, God did. He lit up and instantly ran to his provider who brought him. With the biggest smile could muster he asked her “Can we frame it!?” Seeing his joy she obliged and said “Absolutely!”
You never know how God will use your teaching or the supplemental activities you use to affect people in your group. What may seem insignificant to you may be instrumental and life-changing for those in your group. Go the extra mile and let God work.
For more activities to drive engagement with your group, try this free download.