Throwback Thursday: Chalkboard Altar

18 09 2014

Chalkboard paint has been ubiquitous in the crafting world for several years.  The ultimate DIY supply, it can spruce up and personalize anything…from tabletops to wine glasses.

Two years ago, we decided to redo the altar in our youth room, using — you guessed it — chalkboard paint. The project itself was simple. We already had a wooden altar, and we just painted it with three coats of paint.

After that, the possibilities were endless!

Altar1Notice the mirrors on the wall? 

Wondering what you could do with a chalkboard altar? Here are just a few ideas to spark your creativity:

Altar21. Distribute copies of a Scripture passage. Ask students to write or draw the images or words that stand out to them the most. (In the photo at left, students responded to Hebrews 13:15-16)

2. Collaborate with the budding artists in your youth group ahead of time, and invite them to create an original backdrop to enhance your upcoming series or worship service.

3. Collect prayer requests by encouraging students to write down the names of people whom they would like to pray for.

4. Write out a simple Bible verse, and lead students in a Word Association Prayer.

Altar45. Pose a question to your students, and ask them to answer it on the altar.  (In the photo at right, we asked students about something they wanted to say “no” to. On the other side of the altar, not pictured, they illustrated what they wanted to say “yes” to.)

6. Divide students into groups, and assign them each a section from a longer passage of Scripture. Have them illustrate the passage, storyboard style, with each group in charge of one panel.

7. Set up an ongoing prayer station, where students can freely come to write or draw whatever is on their heart.

8. Cover the altar in chalk, and explore the spiritual practice of erasing. Might be a great object lesson to teach about forgiveness!

How else could you use a chalkboard altar??

 





Sidewalk Chalk Prayers

29 02 2012

This is one of my favorite creative prayer ideas, which I stole from Steven Case’s book Crash: Prayers from the Collision of Heaven and Earth.  We’ve done this activity twice: once on our high school mission trip last year, and once about a month ago during youth group.  Although the context was different in each situation, it worked really well for us both times and proved to be a great way to get students’ creative juices going! I could see this working really well as a community-building art activity, as well.

1. First, choose your Scripture.  (Case recommends choosing something simple.  We’ve done Ephesians 4:4-6 and Galatians 5:22-23 ).  Before your students arrive, write the verse out in big letters on a parking lot or sidewalk. Use big letters!!

2. Give each student a piece of sidewalk chalk, and spend some time explaining the concept of word associations (i.e. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the word clock? Time.  Okay, what’s the first word that comes into your mind when you hear the word time? Race.  And so on.)  Tell them that they will be brainstorming word associations from the various words in the Scripture passage by drawing a line from the original word and adding their new word.  They can offshoot from any word in the parking lot, not just the original words of Scripture.  And they don’t have to write Sunday School answers…just the first

word that comes into their mind.

3. Remind them before they begin that this is a form of prayer.  (We made our students do this exercise in silence).  Then see what happens!

4. The debriefing is up to you.  The first time, we talked about the words the students had written; the second time, we had our students walk back over their words in silence.

Click on each of the photos for a better look!