In a previous article, “How to Become More Creative,” I mentioned that you should work your creative muscles daily if you want to improve it. Believe me, I wasn’t born writing object lessons or designing kids’ crusades. It took time and lots of practice but it all began at a children’s ministry conference in my hometown. It was my first and I was new to ministry. At this day long conference, we were tasked with a series of exercises designed to help us tap into our creativity. I’m including a few of those exercises here and adding a few of my own. As I mentioned before, it’s important that you do something creative every day. It helps boost the confidence level! You can do it!
1. Visit a dollar store and buy a few random kitchen gadgets. If you’re on a budget, just visit your kitchen! Take the items home and write a teaching sentence for each item. Sometimes I use my favorite search engine and look for a phrase or word in the bible. For example, if you picked up a lemon zester, I search for zest. I found Psalm 27:1, “Light, space, zest–that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.” (Message Bible) My teaching sentence could be, “Did you know God has ‘zestiness? Who knows what zest means?” I’ve got an object lesson or at the very least, a teaching opportunity!
2. Put yourself in the scene. During your daily devotional, put yourself in the bible scene. What would you be doing while Jesus was healing a blind man? How would you respond when the animals began climbing into the ark? Think about it!
3. Play with a deck of cards or a box of matches. Build something temporary. Tear it down and do it again. Don’t over think this exercise–let your brain have some fun creating!
4. Go for a walk and leave the headphones behind. It’s a proven fact that a little casual exercise is good for creativity. Take a stroll and smell the flowers.
5. Whiteboard drawing. You’ll need a whiteboard for this creative exercise. In the center of the board draw a rectangle. From the rectangle, draw five radiating lines. Now go to the rectangle and write a word, any word that you might find in the bible. Some good ones would be trust, happiness or strength. Now grab your bible or use your brain and put a chapter and verse at the end of each radiating line. Under each chapter and verse jot down notes on how you could teach using that verse!
6. Start an idea notebook. Here’s the best exercise of all. Keep an idea notebook! Just one notebook dedicated to unloading your brain. Anytime you get a creative idea, jot it down. Sometimes it will be just a word, or a cartoon that you see–sometimes it might be a full idea or a sentence. Don’t worry about developing it. Just write it down. The key to becoming more creative is not losing those moments of inspiration.
You can do it!
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.