“Why are we doing this?” is an important reflection question following a special event or activity. Over the summer months my church revs up the fellowship events for kids, teens & tweens to foster “kids in community.” During the process of using art with theological reflection, some questions to ask include:
· Why are we doing this?
· What's the point of this event?
· What’s going on behind the fun?
· What are the children getting out of this?
· Is it only fun and games or is there something deeper happening here?
You can include the specific answers to your reflection questions in the art journal vis-à-vis writing a short paragraph or you can include simple words that summarize what you learn or you can simply experience the insight you gain and let the art speak for itself. For example, in reflecting on the summer fun that the children had with a bike rodeo, pool parties, and croquet tournament with root beer floats, I was struck by several theological themes running through these on-the-surface-fun-and-games activities. Obviously there is laughter and joy, but the children also experienced the simplicity of backyard activities in the neighborhood plus hospitality, sharing, and patience as the older kids helped the little ones. They also learned about missional participation as the bike rodeo was a mission event with the “entry fee” back-to-school items for Communities In Schools. They were encouraged to invite friends, family, and neighbors to the various activities. The children learned about unconditional welcome, grace, prayer, and love. Pausing to ask, “Why are we doing this?” gives insight from the past for guidance in the future so that one is able to tweak an event or activity the next time around.