This article is from Issue 46 of “On The Move,” a publication of new learning possibilities for churches, at one time published by The Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand.
Although some ideas and liturgies may appear somewhat “dated” in style, concept, imagery or language, they may nevertheless offer a spring-board for new ideas among people who find themselves leading worship, perhaps in a new context, and with some trepidation.
Reproduced by permission. May be reprinted for use in local congregations only.
Lent and Easter program ideas for all ages USING PICTURES
by Pat Baker
A picture can provide a good starting point for a session with any age group, or with mixed ages. Most Sunday schools have a collection of Bible pictures, sometimes well used, but often stashed away in a cupboard and almost forgotten. Why not dust them off and see what hidden treasures you have lurking there?The following ideas for using pictures include some very good suggestions from a leaflet headed ‘Looking at these pictures with children’ which is included in a set called New Testament Pictures for Today. (Don’t be limited or misled by the reference to children the suggestions are equally valid for youth and adult groups.)1. Identify what is happening in the picture. What events led up to this incident?2. Ask What did the artist think most important in this story? What feelings are the people showing? Do they show them with their faces, their hands, their bodies?
3. Enjoy together the colour and design. What is the mood of the picture happy, sad, hopeful…? How does the artist make you feel this?
4. Compare this picture with others showing the same incident. What are the differences? What is each artist trying to convey? Which picture is the most ‘realistic’? Which do you think will stay in your memory? Why?
5. Discuss what the artist has omitted in illustrating the story. Why do you think he/she has done this?
6.. Invite participants to try to identify with one of the characters depicted. What is this person feeling, thinking, saying? What will he/she do next? Looking back on this incident the next day, how would he/she describe it?
7. Pose the picture, asking members of the group to take up the positions of the various characters. You might like to follow this by re-posing it in your own way.
8. Act out the scene.
9. What reading, music, movement would you use with the picture as part of an act of worship?
10. Let the picture lead you to the creation of your own art work, poetry or other writing.
Those ideas, of course, can be used with any pictures. You would seldom want to use all of them with any one picture.