Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Creative Spiritual Journaling with Youth

    Looking for a way to help your youth communicate their faith journey with each other?  Try this idea of using a "round robin" journal.

    Several times in the past few years I've been involved in a fun creative journal project with friends.  Each of us starts a journal and fills up the first few pages with writing, art, photos --whatever we choose.  Then we pass the journal off to another member of the group.  They in turn fill in the next few pages with their own contributions and then pass the journal on to the next person.  Each journal makes the rounds to all members of the group and everyone contributes to everyone else's journal. In the end, we each get our original journal back full of images, stories, and reflections from the whole group.

    I've used this same approach with youth groups. Why not give it a try with your teens?  Challenge each member of your ministry or small group to choose a blank journal.  It could be as simple as a spiral notebook or a bound journal with blank pages purchased in a local bookstore. Kick the project off with a night of creative journaling, inviting teens to spend time with their journals creating entries that talk about their own faith story, their questions about God, the challenges they face.  Some may want to write, others draw, some create collages with magazine images, construct a time line, design comics, or simply make a list.  Let them take the journals home and finish their first few pages.  The next time you meet, ask the youth to bring their journals and swap them with someone else in the group.  Youth then take these new journals home, reflect on what the journal's author has crafted, and then they add contributions of their own.  Each week, journals are swapped until everyone has contributed to each journal. The original owners do not get to see the contents of their journals until they receive them back at the end of the experiment. 

    You can expand on this project by suggesting a topic for youth to reflect on each week such as a Bible passage or a faith-based question.  You might provide a copy of a photo and ask each person to consider what the image says to them about  God or challenge each person to share an experience that helped shape them spiritually. 

    Not only is this activity a good tool for helping youth think reflectively about their faith, but it also offers a way for teens to stay connected to one another throughout the week and learn from one another. 

    Photo source.