Here's a creative visual exercise for small groups that can create an atmosphere where people can connect and share using photos and questions. This can working in arts community or any small group. Conceived and submitted by artists Allen and Nancy Penton, this is "The Path" exercise.
Print these or similar photos then lay them out on a table or pass the photos around in a small group circle. Make sure the group members have paper and pen available. Invite the participants to, “Select a photo of a path that you are drawn to,” or, “Select a photo of a path that reminds you of the path you are on right now.” Or simply ask the Holy Spirit to give you a question that suits the occasion.
Ask these questions slowly...allowing time to jot down the questions and brief responses...
1. Is the path easy or difficult?
2. How do you feel about the path?
3. Where are you on the path?
4. Where is God on the path?
5. Where is this path leading you?
6. Is the path winding or straight?
7. How might this depiction of a path correspond to your current spiritual path?
After offering time to briefly write down the questions and journal answers invite those who would like to share about their experience with this exercise. It is okay to pass or not share everything, or okay to selectively share. After everyone who wants to has shared, spend some time praying for one another.
Through this exercise and the sharing that it inspires your group will get to know each other better and should be more comfortable in sharing what is on their heart in the future.
If you have a project, exercise, or any other concept that employs the arts and creativity in the church, we'd love to hear about it! Submit your stories or ideas to ArtsIdeas (at) TheNewR.org