Bible Art Journaling: A Great and Creative Devotional Practice

Posted: October 10, 2015 in books, church art ministry resources, How to
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

journaling1There’s a trend right now in the Christian Creative Community that kind of excites me. It’s Bible Art Journaling. In truth, some people have been doing this for years, but it seems to really be catching on. People going to the Scriptures and rather than just taking notes or highlighting, they actually use the text as the inspiration for creation. I love this idea. Anything that draws us into a deeper exploration of the Scriptures has got to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

How to do it:
Of course the methods will vary from person to person, but here is what I suggest.

  1. Read the passage
  2. Pray asking God what He wants you to get out of this passage and what He wants you to see/create.
  3. Read the passage again
  4. Meditate on what images the passage inspires
  5. Meditate on what God is trying to tell us in this passage
  6. Study the passage further, i.e. seek out online resources, commentaries, etc.
  7. Create

Now of course some of you will want to just jump right into step 7, but remember our intent here is to draw closer to God as we “draw” His Word. The more of the other steps you do, the more likely you will be to get something great out of it. Whatever you do, do not skip step 2.

Of course some will also want to do this in response to a message/sermon. This is also a great way to meditate and absorb God’s Word. Many people concentrate better when “doodling” just be certain not to lose your focus and draw when you should be listening.

Where to do it
Some folks will work directly on the pages of Scripture, others find this uncomfortable or worse. I recommend that if you decide to use a Bible for your journaling, buy one specifically for that purpose. Sometimes your creations will obscure part or all of the text on a page and it is best to have another Bible you can actually read. (Journaling is not a substitute for reading God’s Word.) Some companies also publish journaling Bibles that give more space around the text for notes, etc. These can be a wonderful resource for creative journaling. Other people will use a journal for their journaling and simply use it side by side with their Bible.

At the moment I am working on a few topical devotional journals that include excerpts of the Scriptures along with plenty of space for creative meditation. The above illustration is a piece I did from my first journal on the parables of Jesus. I am still working out formatting but it should be available soon.

Whatever you decide to do, this is a great way to dig deeper into God’s Word. It could also be a great way to brainstorm and sketch new finished pieces. However you use it, why not use your creative gifts to “draw closer to God?”

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