That was the case for me and for Pat Maier, who later introduced me to Connie Denninger. As I got to know Pat, I came to learn that she had a remarkable gift for “Bible Illustration”, (which is what I called this practice when I first met her). Pat’s gift, along with the wildly creative mind of Connie, grew together in what today is known as Visual Faith™ Ministry.
Three years later, this ministry now reaches around the globe and spreads the Gospel in new and exciting ways.
The devotional series Why Visual Faith?: Scriptural Study for Spiritual Formation was written at the request of Connie, as she sought to form a foundation upon which this ministry could stand.
As people experienced and responded to the practices and projects that are now part of Visual Faith™ Ministry, Connie realized that “we needed to have some language to help people explain to other people what was happening to them in their spiritual journey.” In the midst of prayer and meditation, she chose four words that would carry us into the future of this endeavor. They are Remember, Trust, Tell, and Disciple.
If you are brand new to learning about visual faith practices, we hope this is a great introduction for you. If you are working to teach others about these practices, perhaps this gives you a simple framework to help in sharing an approach that enhances your time in God's Word.
Using these four studies is simple. They are short, and shouldn’t take very long to complete; maybe 15 minutes. The goal of working through them is to bring your group into the Word for discussion, some Bible based activity, and perhaps some spiritual challenge to ponder.
All of the studies I’ve written or led in the last 40 years have been built upon the belief that the Holy Spirit is the One who teaches and inspires. Every person involved in the study has a unique set of situations and way of learning. There is always room for each participant to learn something different and personal. It’s important to leave room for that as you take a group through the study (or give yourself some room for that idea if you are working through them alone!)
There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure success:
1. ALWAYS begin with prayer. Make a little room for the Holy Spirit to do His thing.
2. Read the passage (always brief), for it will be the basis for your conversation, doodling, noodling, and learning.
3. The instructions for each study move fairly easily, with either activities or questions to discuss or ponder. Just follow the instructions as they come up in the lesson.
4. If you are operating inside of a group, make sure no one person monopolizes the conversation - including yourself if you are the leader. It’s okay to let people think a moment and embrace the silence. (Sometimes that allows God to get a Word in edgewise!)
5. ALWAYS close with prayer. Thank God for what He has poured out, as it’s sure to be something!
I pray that your time in the Word is lovely, challenging, and inspires great moments of visual faith. We’re so happy you’re along for the journey!! Blessings!
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Find the devotional series here: Why Visual Faith?: Scriptural Study for Spiritual Formation
Listen to a conversation between Carolyn, Connie Denninger, and Diane Marra about remember, trust, disciple, and tell: Tuesdays@8 Why Visual Faith?
Carolyn shares what visual faith looks like with her grandchildren in a previous blog, No Excuses - Just Try It!
Carolyn lives in Flushing MI and is a wife, mother and grandmother. She is the Director of Christian Education. She considers herself a "non-artist" and says that is why the practice of visual faith is fun for her- because she is not good at it. Carolyn is a life-long fanatical follower of Jesus Christ as well as a Bible study leader and teacher. She says "writing bible studies is what I do!"