18 Mar Creativity in Students ministry
A boy in cool casuals, goggles, branded shoes, spiked hair, a smart phone in hand and earphones plugged tightly into his ears starting a bike with a stunt is the perfect image of a trendy student. He is specially interested in changing his bike within a couple of years, his smart phone in a gap of 3 months, dump the old dress and get a unique one.
Do you think he will be attracted to monotonous kind of Bible studies or programmes? They will certainly not stop from running at the sight of your coming to mobilize them (out of personal experience! 🙁 ). Let’s see a little bit about being creative. 🙂
In his book, Human Motivation, Robert E. Franken defined creativity as follows: “Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others”
Practical ways to be creative:
Bill Breen, the former senior projects editor at Fast Company magazine, says in his article ‘The 6 Myths Of Creativity’, “Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells” .
- Use innovative and trendy ways instead of traditional ways eg: – In brochure to attract students use trendy words, youth language and smilies instead of traditional one. eg: God luvs U” 🙂 instead of “God loves you.”
- Make the best use of Technology Using PPT, animation, movie clips effectively (Remember not to crowd too many text in slides!)
- Use effective use of mobile
- Using facebook and other social network sites
- Using audio clips of the Bible portion
- Try to cater to all senses (eyes, ear, nose, touch, etc)
Eg 1 : Using soft touch ball in discussion hour: Let the audience sit in a circle. Preach for five minutes. Throw the ball at a targeted person. The person who has the ball will answer the question asked by the preacher
Eg 2 : Some times have a soft music played in an informal interactive session (as used in hotels or restaurants)
- Creativity is out there in the world. We have to keep our ears and eyes open to capture creativity.
- Take an object, say a cup, examine it thoroughly and think of how you can use this object to explain a Biblical theme.
- Look at advertisements and see how you can relate them to teach something to your students’ setting.
- You may be watching some item in the Video coach you are traveling and that becomes the example for your next Bible study.
- Get ideas from trendy students. Observe youth and the trendy life style. Observe how they do things differently.
- Letting the leadership pass on from elders to students help people be creative. (Of course the old are creative, but the later generation is more trendy)
- Be ready to accept the current generation as they are without being judgmental.
- Give space for fun.
- Don’t shy away from Rock and roll and hip pop culture. (Biblical values is the standard!)
- Work hard and try different creative methods. Sometimes your method may turn out to be a flop! Don’t worry. Keep doing
- All the ideas you get need to be revisited, reshaped and refined.
- Work ahead of time to avoid deadline pressure and end up doing things in traditional ways.
- Discuss your idea with others. Many innovative ways come out of brainstorming exercise.
- Be ready to spend money, resource and time for being creative.
Practical tips for UESI
Have trendy brochures/ invitations. Even if you are to do it in a black and white format think how creatively you can be. A strict no no to old boaring leaflets. 🙁
Connect through Social networking site. Mobilize a event through FB. Students like it.
Bible reading In Bible studies:
Instead of traditional reading of Bible one after another, try playing an audio clip of the Bible through your mobile. (Make sure it is loud enough :-). if it is a conversation, assign two persons to read the dialogue of characters and the other to read the narrative.
- At times, have comparative study of characters and or passages
- Study book survey or character study
- Have a book reading day where all the members come together and read the Bible portion
- Use some creative ways to grab their attention
Eg. Ask the participants to write their thoughts about the passage in the form of a short quotation or ask them to draw a picture representing the Bible theme
Use discussions. Not alone at the beginning of the session but in between. Usually we do things very interactively in the beginning. After finishing a quarter, we start becoming boring. Instead let the participants sit in group for the doctrine. Divide 1 hr session into 4. At the beginning of every quarter have a group discussion. This will make doctrine sessions interactive and interesting.
History or organizational aspect (handbook) session:
- Use video clips and effective PPTs.
- Enacting the history is very effective.
- Give the history material. Ask the students to read and prepare a song or skit out of the material given. They will understand it
- Let us try programmes differently. Can we think of a Bible study or informal gathering in Nescafe or popular student hangout?
- Can we say no to old time table before planning for a new one? (I agree that old timetable will give a good mode. But it blocks from thinking too!!!)
- Can we think of a Bible study with mobile in a playground? (I do value the importance of carrying the Bible. But for some change
- and in sensitive areas)
“An idea can enhance students ministry”. UESI is full of creative minds. If only we let ourselves go out of the box and think creatively, how much more deep impact can we make in the life of creative students?
About the Author
The author Benalin and his wife Selin are UESI staffworkers based in Varanasi. Benalin regularly blogs at www.benalin.wordpress.com