Art and Scripture By Cory Wetterlin

Photo: Cory Wetterlin
One of my favorite ways to incorporate art in ministry is to use it to enhance the meditation of scripture. I initially discovered this on my very first spiritual retreat. I went to a little place called Still Waters just outside of Berrien Springs, Mich. I discovered there a room all set up with art supplies and I proceeded to paint through the concepts of scripture that I had been wrestling with over the past 12 hours. This was a tremendously freeing process.

I expanded this experience in my youth Sabbath school classroom. With the help of my youth ministry team, we stretched queen size sheets across frames to create giant canvases. We equipped the students with different colors of house paint and brushes. Then I began to play a dramatic recording of the first chapter of Ezekiel over and over again as the students painted. Wheels within wheels, whirlwinds, figures in flame, and many eyed and winged creatures began to appear. We then cut out the paintings and created a collage on the wall, which stayed up through the rest of our series on Ezekiel.

Art not only has the ability to express the literal scenes of scripture but also to bring out the meaning of the stories for our lives. A tender new shoot coming from the heart of a blackened hollow tree helped a group of Pathfinder teen leaders to see the possibility of resurrection in our lives just as Lazarus was raised from the dead.

Response to scripture and messages came to life in the youth tent of the Oregon camp meetings as students used spray paint, sidewalk chalk, paint, pastels, and pencil to express their own thoughts on the subject of the morning. I can still see the chalk crown and heart expressing Christ as the king. These artistic expressions remained in the tent as a visual testimony of each artist’s interaction with scripture for the rest of the world to see as they stopped by or peaked into the tent.
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Art is a fascinating way to see the Word come alive in the hearts, minds, and hands of Christ followers no matter their age. We also gain an amazing insight into the lives of those we are ministering to as they pour out their hearts on the canvas and paint a personal testimony of faith for all to see.

Cory Wetterlin writes from Berrien Springs, Michigan. All rights reserved © 2013 Click here for content usage information.