Paintbrushes and Canvases Draw Young People To Jesus
“Time and space to be and create” is the goal behind our Willmar art program for teen girls. I started my girls’ painting group a year ago when I first came on staff at YFC as an activity to get to know the students in my community better. What began as inviting a few girls over to the YFC building to chill and paint some canvases, turned into a weekly art program for middle school and high school girls that not only provides a safe place for students to hang out but also fosters conversations that matter.
Each week, we gather as a group to create. Some girls come with detailed artistic plans while others come to just watch. However, whether painting or watching, each girl participates in our “Questions of the Day,” conversation starters picked from an envelope. Some of the questions
are goofy and funny while others are more serious, but they all are intentional for fostering conversation and sharing stories. Through the more serious questions, the girls facilitate discussions amongst themselves about Jesus and life, while we as ministry leaders have the privilege of listening and sharing along with them.
One of the most recent growths in the group is the addition of girls from the local group home in our area. Each week, these girls are bused over to join the session, and it has been a privilege hearing their hearts and developing new relationships with them. Through these connections, not only have they become more involved with the art group, but they have also been able to come to other YFC events where we’ve gotten to know them and their stories better. How amazing to serve a God who uses things like paint brushes and canvases to connect people together and point to His great, great Story!
~ Andrea Erlandson – Campus Life Specialist