Three Colored Pencils

Ah, colored pencils. The lost and often forgotten art medium. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found hundreds of colored pencils, mostly dull and barely usable, all around every church I’ve served. What to do with them? (besides sharpen them, obvi)
I decided I would use them as a teaching tool. So here ya go:

With Scripture
Print out a scripture passage or have participants open their Bibles to a particular passage. Invite participants to choose three different colored pencils.

Option 1: Read aloud the passage once, twice, or three times – with different people reading each time. (It may seem silly to repeat this three times, but for certain people, hearing it read in three different voice registers or in three different Bible translations helps them process and remember the passage.

Option 2: Have participants read the passage silently to themselves.

Colored Pencils – After the participants read/hear the passage, have them choose one color. With that color, underline the parts of the passage that they understand and that resonate with them. Then, have them choose a second color. With that color, have them put a question mark or asterisk next to the part of the passage that they have questions about or do not understand. Then with the third color, have them circle one word or phrase to act on this week (to act on, meaning to meditate on, to put into practice, to spend time with in prayer/devotion, etc.)

Debrief: Invite participants to share, either in pairs, in small groups, or together as a large group.

With Spiritual Practices
This one is my all time favorite. It’s great to use with any age group, and I use it with Confirmands every year. Make a list of spiritual practices. Perhaps use the book Soul Tending as a guide, or adapt this list to your liking.

Pass out the list of spiritual practices. Invite participants to choose three colored pencils.
With one colored pencil, have participants underline the ones they are familiar with and/or have done before. With the second color, have participants put a question mark or asterisk next to the ones they aren’t sure about (how could that be a spiritual practice?). Wait to use the third color until after your discussion. (ah, the suspense!)

Discuss – Which ones have you tried before? Which ones are you familiar with? Which ones do you have questions about?
With the third colored pencil, have participants highlight or circle one practice they would like to try this week.

Service Project Option
Get a group together to walk around the church and collect all the colored pencils you can find. Sharpen the colored pencils.
Maybe wrap a set of colored pencils together and tie them with a rubber band & a ribbon and give them as a thank you gift to leaders in the church with a scripture passage about using your gifts to glorify God.

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