Each week, after I’m done reading the lesson, studying the Scripture passage, and doing a practice run-through, I sit down at my computer to browse for a related coloring page. I used to do this just so I would have a back-up plan in case the kids got too rowdy and we had to cut the lesson short or if a guest preacher, like Rob Douglas, was in town and the sermon went extra EXTRA long. However, lately, I’ve realized that coloring brings a whole new element to Children’s Church: fellowship.
We leave the classroom with about 5 minutes till the end of church and gather around 2 or 3 round tables in the gym, everybody grabbing some crayons and a coloring page. Sometimes we talk about the lesson, sometimes we talk about life, but the point is — everyone is talking.
Kids are talking to each other about family, pets, school — and they are not just talking to their friends, they are including everyone at the table. New kids blend right in, chatting about their week or the latest movie they’ve watched. Kids even seem to relate to me on a whole new level when I’ve got a green crayon in my hand and I’m busy shading in the trees.
This last Sunday, one of our boys (age 6) decided he didn’t want to color. I assured him he didn’t have to color, but he still had to sit at the table with everyone else until church was over. I knew that he really enjoyed art at home, so I struck up a conversation about his latest ventures. Here’s what was said:
Me: So, I hear you’re quite an artist!
Luke: Oh yeah, my mom bought me a bunch of canvases. But I can’t get the REALLY big ones — they are too expensive.
Me: Well, what kind of things do you like to paint on your canvases?
Luke: All kinds of things — hearts, crosses, my dog Max. But that’s not all. I can do a lot more than paint. I can do all kinds of art. I can paint with white paint and blue paint. I can color with crayons. I can even cut. Cutting with scissors is a hard thing to do, but I’m really good at it. Because I’m an artist.
We continued awhile like this. It was such a delightful conversation, and I have to tell you — I don’t get a chance to just sit and chat with the kids much anymore. It was so refreshing. It reminded me why I got involved with Children’s Ministry in the first place.
So, I think we’ll keep using those coloring pages. Sure, the coloring part is fun, but that’s not the real reason the papers and crayons are laid out every week. We’ll keep doing it because it forces me to slow down a bit. It forces the kids to settle down a bit. It gives us all a chance to build relationships and I like that a whole lot.
Where I Find My Coloring Pages: