Worship & Surprise in Classroom Transformation by Dionne Lovstad-Jones

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

When I set out to tackle a DIY classroom renovation, I knew the redesigned space would serve as a new home for our group, but didn’t realize how it would transform the life of our meetings or the worshipful experience it would be for me. Let me explain.

Nearly three years ago I was going through a pretty tough personal time, and felt the Lord tugging hard on my sleeve, pulling me into His Word for the establishment of a devotional life. But I didn’t want a ‘boring old workbook’ as the basis of the study. I was hungry to linger longer in the Word. I wanted to savor and ponder and pause with the pages of my Bible open, but often felt that the pages of the workbook became the basis of the study rather than the pages of the Bible.

I browsed the web, and as I browsed, information for Illustrated Faith appeared. I was compelled. I suddenly felt like I had permission and endorsement to be released into the pages of my Bible—to expand beyond the highlighted passages and the margins I had written in for so many years—and explore new ways of journaling, devotion and yes, worship. While I did purchase a study guide, this new way of study was like a red carpet being rolled out for me to enter a beautiful palace of grandeur. And then I start feeling a new conviction to share with others what I had been learning.

Some of my very first Bible journaling entries—from back in 2017–a study of Job, Ezekiel and Lamentations.

A few months later, I shared with a girlfriend this newfound love for Bible journaling and illustrating my own faith journey. We put our heads together and started a little group we call Colorful Faith. A morning workshop was held at church. From there, a group of women and men formed and began to meet monthly. Each time we met, we shared new techniques for embracing the Word and documenting our study. Still, our more important objectives were that we open our Bibles, dig into the Word by reading and reflecting out loud, and learn and practice how to pray with and for one another.

Devotional notes, journaling, and WORSHIP during time spent in God’s Word!

Removal of any barriers preventing someone from joining us is important. We provide Bibles and supplies, and even serve dinner. We are careful about the language we use. In my work I find that people are sometimes intimidated by the term ‘Bible study’. So, Colorful Faith time is about time for learning, expression, spending time in God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship with one another.

Supplies provided for studying the fruit of the Spirit — JOY…… …..and PEACE

From an all-purpose room at our Lutheran day school, we continued to meet - studying the fruit of the Spirit, gratitude, and the book of John.

Each time we met required packing and moving tubs of supplies to accommodate our needs, and then putting them away again so that the space could be used for other purposes. I often thought that it would be wonderful to have a home for our Colorful Faith.

Old Sunday School supply room - forgotten room in the church basement