The ‘YEA’ Crowd

PATHWAY
Community: Church Community
AGE GROUP
14-16 years
Anticipate Time
240: 4 or more hours min
GROUP SIZE
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Values
Creativity, Excellence, Reliability, Responsibility, Thoroughness

Synopsis

The Pathfinder participants become “The YEA Crowd” (Young Energetic Artists) and create monthly Bulletin Boards for the Church foyer for a period of three months.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Work together towards a group consensus of ideas
  2. Show the ability to organise one’s self for the good of the project
  3. Demonstrate care in work

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 14:40
Let all things be done decently and in order.

Research reveals that Youth involvement in Church life is vital if they are to remain in the Church. The YEA Crowd offers such ownership. It allows them to unleash their creativity and be a part of the action, and presents a challenge to those who do not feel artistically endowed to embrace a new experience and feel the success which results from a job well done. “The real tragedy in life is not in being limited to one talent, but in the failure to use the one talent” (Edgar Work). Talent is a voluntary power. It requires a choice to be involved. All of us have talents and abilities concealed at the bottom of our minds of which we are not aware. Once used, they multiply.

Preperation

Collect the last five items on the list and have them ready for the Stimulus activity.

Materials:

Materials will be selected by the participants. These could include:

  • Craft items
  • Collage materials
  • Lettering books
  • Artline textas
  • Coloured cardboard
  • Tissue paper
  • Posters
  • Pictures
  • Computer (for graphics generation or Powerpoint presentation),
  • Access to visual presentations of quotes and texts. “Windsongs” and “Doorposts” by Timothy Botts offer rich calligraphic illustrations of gospel songs and bible texts. (Refer to Resources) Or find other books which have painted illustrations which convey a powerful visual message. Look up http://www.godthoughts.com/calligraphy.html on the web to view samples of calligraphy . (These cannot be reproduced in this program for copyright reasons.)

NB. Tracking such material down will make all the difference to the resulting creations. Such visual stimulus will be a vital trigger of ideas – an important step for those who do not feel creatively gifted.

  • CD or tape player and a number of religious tracks reflecting different moods
  • Scarves or ribbon (optional)
  • Plasticine or playdoh
  • Enough bed sheets for one in four participants
  • A3 Paper, Paint, Brushes, Overhead Projector.

Outline

Stimulus Activity
1. Play a number of religious musical tracks to the participants. Ask them to creatively express the mood of each piece in a different way.
For example:

  • Use ribbons or scarves to express the music (girls will invariably respond better with this one)
  • Create an object in plasticine or playdoh which reflects the mood or message of the music
  • Tell a musical story with colour and line on A3 paper
  • Have four people hold onto the corners of a bed sheet and work together to move it to express the music
  • Create another means of creative expression you think may appeal to your group

Discuss how God has given us ‘a hundred languages’ with which to express our creativity. Often we don’t tap into many of them to use them to His glory.

2. Share a number of visual illustrations of written thoughts, or paintings and book illustrations that have conveyed a powerful message. Refer to your collected samples (see Materials). 
Discuss the truth of the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words” and how illustrations can enhance the message of the written word.

3. Outline the purpose of the Pursuit to the participants. They are to work together in groups of two or three to prepare a bulletin board which will remain displayed for four weeks in the Church foyer or similar venue. This Pursuit will be rostered and will continue for a period of three months.
NB. This time period may very, according to the number of groups you have. The number of weeks each display is left there and the total time period for the activity is variable. Each participant should have one or two turns at the display. 

4. Discuss the vast array of options for display open to the group. 
They may like to:

  • Illustrate a bible text which relates to the minister’s sermon (This may require a more frequent changing of the bulletin board. Alternatively, it could be done when the minister is exploring a series of sermons on the same topic)
  • Illustrate a well-known hymn or gospel song
  • Visually depict a Christian maxim or motto
  • “Advertise” a forthcoming Church event

5. Brainstorm a list of illustrative techniques they could use:

  • Collage materials to create an “impressionistic” feel
  • Computer generated graphics
  • Use of an Overhead Projector to enlarge drawings/cartoons which may enhance the given message
  • Coloured cardboard in layers to create a picture;
  • Cellophane on glass to create stained glass effect (will “stick” with Vaseline)
  • “Real” objects attached to the background board, to create a “relief” effect
  • 3D images, “suspended” from the ceiling or established at ground level as an extension of the Bulletin Board.
  • Enlarged lettering, using an Overhead Projector, could be drawn onto cardboard, cut out and placed on the board.
  • Use of “Powerpoint” – generated graphics. (This, by its nature, will require specific specialised instruction, and may best be used throughout a sermon to illustrate points presented. Alternatively, it may take the form of an audio-visual musical meditation during the service);

Reinforce to the participants that the ways of accomplishing the task is only limited by their imaginations. Encourage daring, creative vision!

6. Reinforce the importance of neatness in presentation. Stress the importance of the use of rulers and templates in order to achieve this. (There’s nothing worse than lettering which shrinks in size as it proceeds!) 

7. Share important design principles which will enhance their work. These include:

  • A dominant centre of interest
  • Leading lines to this centre of interest
  • Centre of interest placed where a third of the page intersects. To do this, divide the work area with imaginary lines into thirds, horizontally and vertically. Place your main interest point at the intersection of one of these lines.
  • Areas of space. Space is just as important as areas of interest. Don’t make your design too ‘busy’.

Enlist the assistance of an artistic “expert” during these brainstorming stages.

8. Leaders should ensure that any equipment or resources that the groups need is made available to them when it is their turn to create the bulletin board.

9. Establish a roster for the bulletin board for the three months. A small card should be placed at the bottom of each Bulletin Board with the names of those who created it. After the roster is established and each Pathfinder knows how many bulletin board designs they need to create, have them do a detailed design of each on paper first, and form a comprehensive list of all the materials and resources they will need to complete the board.

10. NB. Leaders: On the first Sabbath of each new design, place a note of acknowledgement and thanks in the Church Bulletin to the specific Pathfinders who have created the bulletin board.

Debrief

Reflection

  • What was the most difficult part of this Pursuit?
  • What rewards did it hold for you?
  • What comments did you receive about your work? How did this make you feel?

Interpretation

  • What have you found out about yourself by doing this Pursuit that you didn’t know before?
  • Can you see a link between being created in God’s image and enjoying creating things like He does?

Application

  • How else would you like to be involved in the life of your church?
  • How else do you see God’s image shown in the abilities we have?
  • What does this teach you about What God is like?

Appendix

“Windsongs” by Timothy R. Botts (1989) Tyndale House Publishers Inc. Illinois.
“Doorposts” (1986) Ibid.
“The Book of Psalms”, (1997) Ibid. Available through Koorong.