5 Ways to Engage the Artistic Students in Ministry

Steve Cullum
February 4th, 2020

We all have them. No, not the stinky kids. I am talking about the artistic ones. And if you are not artistic yourself, you might not notice those students, but they are there. While dodgeball works for the athletic ones, maybe you are wondering what works to engage the artistic students in your ministry. 

The answer is easier than you think. In fact, you might not even have to make huge changes. Here are five suggestions to help you get started.

Student Band

Some of those artistic students come in the form of musicians. If you don’t have a student band, maybe you should consider putting one together. If you don’t feel like you can do that yourself, find another adult in your church who can. If done well, this could be a great feeder ministry for your church’s worship team. In fact, maybe it is your worship pastor or a member of his/her worship team that steps up to lead the student band. Not only will this give student musicians an outlet, other students love seeing their friends play, and those students will often bring their friends to hear them play. 

Stage/Room Design

For those who have a regular meeting place, you could invite your artistic students to help you decorate. If you have a regular stage design for message series or seasons, think about letting a few students lead out in that area. If you have a room or building, consider asking students to help you design a space that appeals to other teenagers. Their creative eyes can help your ministry. On top of that, they will have more ownership of their space, because they helped design it and make it look awesome.

Creative Worship

If we are not careful, we might lead teenagers to believe the only way to worship is through song. You and I know that worship is so much more than that, but how often do we incorporate other methods into our programming? One way to do this is providing a space for students to draw or write prayers. Maybe you can take students on a photography walk, instructing them to take photos of things that point to God. Perhaps some of your teens could share their poetry or paintings with others in a cool way from stage or in an art show. 

Media and Graphics

While some of you might enjoy graphic design, there are many of you who would rather someone else take that part of your ministry. What if you handed it off to a student? Of course, as with all areas of leadership, they would still need adult oversight, but maybe you have a gifted artist in your group just waiting to be asked. That student might also love social media, which is another way to engage artistic students. Utilize them to help your media, graphics, and more appeal to their peers.

Ask Them

Simply asking your artistic kids what they would like to do is a great start. Ask them to help you plan worship and events. Maybe they would enjoy taking leadership and planning something on their own. They will probably know best how to connect with other artistic students; which will only increase the creative energy in your youth group. Many artistic students are overlooked, so make sure you engage them by talking to them and asking about their thoughts and opinions, even leading on them for leadership where it makes sense.

It is so important for us not to alienate any student in our ministry. As you consider how to engage the artistic students in your ministry, first think about the things you already do before you think outside the proverbial box. You can probably make some small tweaks or increase your engagement quite a bit.

All five of these suggestions could probably be summarized in this: Use their gifts and ask for their input. Artistic students are creative. Utilize that to broaden your ministry’s reach. Bringing along a few gifted artists could take your ministry to another level.

Steve Cullum

Steve Cullum is the student pastor at LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont, CO, where he oversees their ministry to sixth through twelfth grade students and their families. He also hosts The Student Ministry Podcast and volunteers for the National Network of Youth Ministries. You can follow him on Twitter @stevecullum.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.