See: Using Visuals for Greater Impact

15 12 2015

…paint a power-packed picture for all those visual learners out there.

-Aaron Reynolds

Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.

-Jesus (Matthew 6:22)

God created this world with striking visual stimulus. He wired us to learn visually. Children learn especially fast and effectively when visual elements are woven into our conversations, teaching and stories. If you don’t have any props, paint a mental picture. But by grabbing some key objects, you can power home concepts that would otherwise be lost. Fill ‘em up with transformational light!

Common visuals that teach:

  • Stuffed Lamb, staff (agrarian themes, Lamb of God)
  • Sporting gear (training for the Christian life)
  • Art (draw, paint, craft, video)
  • Lighting effects (flashlight, turn off lights)
  • Costumes
  • Games (useful for recall)
  • Personal hobby items (relate with personal interests)

Object Tips:

  • Hold the item and describe it
  • Pass the item around if reasonable
  • Ask questions about it, explore it
  • Tell a story with it
  • Search for the word in the Bible to help illustrate

How to paint a mental picture:

  • Visualize it yourself first
  • Describe the details
  • Feel the emotions yourself
  • Express feelings strongly with your face and gestures

Here’s an example combining both elements.

God has a plan that can’t be stopped. Check out this basketball play (Use a basketball video replay or other sport that fits your style and the idea of changing plans. Alternatively, you could plan ahead of time and draw some movement using Xs and Os on a white board.) I love basketball. Take a look at this. The way it bounces and feels is awesome. Feel this for a moment (pass it around). Now the goal of the player is to move the ball into a good position to get a basket. The defence is trying to stop him and so his plans are constantly changing as to how he’ll get there. Frustration sets in when he gets stopped (show disappointment). But he doesn’t give up when he’s forced to move in a different direction (show determination). He keeps trying different options until he can score. Our life choices cause us to make plans, change plans and sometimes leave plans altogether. But no matter what, God’s plan to make a way for us to be forgiven can’t be stopped!

Isn’t that so much better than just talking about basketball?

Lord, your wonders abound. Help me show them to any children you put in my path.

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