Have you ever walked through a church on Sunday after everyone has left for the day? Chances are in many places, you will see some sort of coloring sheet or cut and paste craft one or more of the children has left behind. The ones that do make it out of the building are often left on car floors or go straight to the recycling bin. In a best case scenario, a parent will chat about it for a minute or two with the child and give it a place on the fridge for a couple of days before tossing it.
Yet, Bible crafts could continue to impact your students for weeks, months and even years after they are created. The trick is to find or create crafts that are meaningful. It doesn’t mean they are necessarily more expensive. Instead, something about the craft is so special to the child, it becomes a part of the permanent decor of the child’s room or somewhere else in the home.
The impact a meaningful craft can have has become apparent over the years we have experimented with some of our activities you will find posted over the coming months. We witnessed young children memorizing important scriptures, not because we had asked them to do so, but because they were on a throw pillow the children had made. Those pillows were so special to the kids, they became a part of their room. Looking at their handiwork day after day had emblazoned the scripture in their minds.
Or the class when the students made a special snack plate with a scripture that was to be used in a Bible reading corner they set up in their home. We actually received emails with photos of the completed corners. Hopefully, they were used to encourage Bible reading in those homes.
Not every meaningful craft will work the way it was intended. Even if the craft is thrown away though, the process of making something so special will often create a memory that will remain long after the project is gone.
The next time your lesson calls for a craft, ask yourself an important question. If the completed project were coming to your house where would it be at the end of the day? If the answer is probably the trash, take a minute or two and think about other options.
Is there a way to change or substitute the suggested project for something that has a better chance of being visible for a longer period of time? Does it incorporate a scripture which will be seen multiple times while it is on display? Does the craft itself serve someone or help them begin to share their faith?
Most importantly, does the craft add meaning to your lesson or is it just a way to kill time until the bell rings? If you want to have maximum impact on your students for God, meaningful crafts will help extend your lesson well after the class has ended.