Art Resources For Youth Pastors

What is the ArtDen? September 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — scotterickson @ 11:32 pm


The ArtDen is an actual physical space that has been created for Youth Specialties National Youth Worker Conventions. The goal of the ArtDen is to provide youth workers with a space to interact with creative ideas, gain a knowledge of how to use the creative process or expression in accomplishing their goals, and providing them a place to make art throughout their convention experience. 



This website is meant to be a help to youth workers who wish to use creative means as a way for young people to express their beliefs and grow in the knowledge of their faith.  On this site you will find many creative ideas in a number a mediums that will hopefully give you the support you need in using art and artistic expression in your youth groups.



It’s pretty self explanatory.  Go to the different pages on the side bar or up above and read through different art projects.  Then use them in your groups!  You can change them to fit your specific group or need… but hopefully it gets the creative juices in your brain flowing thinking about new ways to teach, disciple, and grow your group!

If you have an idea that you would like to add, fill in the idea in the “comments” section below the posts and it will be put into the larger section of ideas.  Hopefully this will keep growing and growing!


A side note on using creativity in your groups….

Filed under: Uncategorized — scotterickson @ 11:53 pm

  As having been a youth worker myself, I understand the complexities that come along with working within the walls of a church.  For you to be affective, you must be up to date on youth culture and learn how to communicate in the ways they are use to.  But you also have to deal with parents, co-workers, and church boards… and that can be a bittersweet relationship.

 One of your main hurdles in starting to use creative projects is that you will come across differences of opinion of what art is, what it should be used for, and where it’s appropriate.  Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  I personally think that creative expression opens the door to the heart of God.  Some people believe artistic expression opens the doorway of rebellion.  

  In the church, especially, there are unspoken lines of conforming boundaries and edges that are not to be crossed.  A lot of times it seems that what is done in the youth group can cross those lines (“those crazy youngsters”)… so you are already use to this.  That’s why if you’re going to empower your students in the area of creative expression, you are going to need to be the biggest proponent of this and be their biggest supporter.  You are going to have to be the biggest believer of everyone, cause if anything comes out bold, brash, or really intense, all the responsibility is going to fall on your lap.  But…. I believe that when you experience the fruit of some of these projects, I won’t even need to convince you of this… you’ll already be sold on the power of using creative expression to build the faith of your students.

  There’s more to say on this, and if you need to talk about this relationship more, feel free to contact me (scott) and let me know what’s up.

  I have a few more miscellaneous things I’d like to share, and I don’t have one long congruent paragraph that I can share them all in… so I’ll just list them below for your benefit.  These are quick thoughts about leading students in making art….

  • It has to be youth driven.  It has to be something they care about in order for them to want to participate.
  • Challenge them and give them ownership.
  • Critical Thinking.  This is what you are doing.  You aren’t just “having fun”.  You are teaching them to process information and communicate in creative ways. When you are asked by “adults” what you are doing…. “Critical Thinking” is what you say.
  • No ideas? Use the art around them. skateboards, film, posters, songs… mesh it with an issue.
  • The point of this is not conversion.  Art with this kind of agenda is quickly spotted and is usually dismissed.  You’ll be blown away with what something that is simply honest and well thought out can communicate to others.
  • By incorporating creative projects, you are asking students to apply what they know instead of just giving them more info.  Youth kids usually “know” a lot of facts. Help them live out what they know. Teach them to critically think through information. 
  • You and your staff have to own it.  You must be the biggest fans.
  • A Year Challenge.  I’m giving you a challenge.  Try one thing… and event, and art show, a play… whatever.  Brainstorm with students and think through a big project that they are excited about, and set a goal with them to accomplish it within a year.  See what happens.  You’ll be amazed.