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MIDnet: Created to Create: Combining Worship and Art in the Classroom



Created to Create:

Combining Worship and Art
in the Classroom

The fifth period bell rings. Students from sixth, seventh, and eighth grades trickle into my classroom. They grab their composition books off the shelves and the art caddies filled with scissors, glue sticks, markers, pencils, and watercolors. Boys and girls alike sit down at their tables, open their composition books, and pull up Bible verses on their iPads.

Once everyone has settled, I speak to the class to give them either a Scripture art prompt or remind them of one. Then, a student leads the class in prayer, usually one of invitation to the Spirit and of thanksgiving to God but always, always in the name of Jesus. I ask Alexa to play Elevation Station and the sounds of worship music begin, softly at first but then loudly as it becomes the only sound in the room aside from the rustles of paper and scribbles of pencils. The atmosphere gives way to worship. Peace settles on my students as they create art. Quiet moments, I pray, that will bring them closer to God.

On any given Tuesday and Thursday, this is what you would see and experience if you walked into my classroom for an elective class I call Scripture Art. Students walk into a place of worship. The scene would, at first glance, look different than walking into a church, but you would feel the presence of God in the same way: the peace wrapping around each kid like a blanket, the joy filling fingertips and souls as they draw and meditate on Scripture, the offerings of the heart lifted up in song. And the art, it would be second to the worship, but it would be just as evident as each student creates and connects to the Word of God in their own unique and wonderful way. Worship is a response, and there are many ways to respond.

There’s no wrong way to worship if your heart focuses on the Lord. Watercoloring a tree on a notebook page while meditating on Scripture, singing in the heart the worship songs playing in the classroom while looking up examples of Scripture art online, praying or talking to God while cutting out paper are all examples of ways in which these students worship during this 45-minute elective period class. There’s no wrong way to create. There’s no wrong way to worship if your heart focuses on the Lord.

Over the years, I’ve heard many kids (and adults) say things like, ‘I’m not good at art,” or “I can’t draw.” I’ve also heard people (myself included) say things like, “I can’t sing.” When we say these things, we put limitations on who God made us to be. Our limitless God made us in His image, in His likeness. Truthfully, I’m not a great singer, but I can sing; and if my song is a song of worship, then it is a most beautiful song to my Creator. If that is so, then it’s also true of the art I create and the illustrations I draw. If I present them as offerings of worship, then they are also the most beautiful creations to Him. This is what I teach my students. Everyone can do art.

You may be asking, “But what about a grade?” While a grade is required for the report card, I don’t grade the art. I don’t grade the worship. At my school we have a continuity of expectation for all of our classes that we expect all middle school students to meet. We call it the “3Rs.” We expect our students to be “Respectful, Responsible, and Ready” for each class they attend. Those 3Rs are the three categories I use to grade this class.

They are free to create. They are free to take their time. They are free to come up with their own art. They are free to worship. I set up these 3Rs at the beginning of the quarter and put 100s in each of the three categories. Along the way if a student is talkative, forgets something they need, or is late to class, then I deduct points from the corresponding category. The majority of my students maintain the 100 average of the three categories. Because I don’t grade their art or whether or not they complete a given prompt, the pressure is off of them. They are free to create. They are free to take their time. They are free to come up with their own art. They are free to worship.

The art, as my students know, isn’t the main goal. Being in worship with the Lord, being in His Word, and collecting meaningful Scripture verses are the objectives. But after doing this elective class for the last six years, the outcomes are so much more. When middle school students spend quiet time with the Lord in this form of worship, they flourish in the most glorious way.

Besides growing in their relationship with the Lord, my students with ADHD have benefited from being still and focused. Students with insecurities gain confidence and learn what it feels like to feel secure. Students going through troubled times have sought comfort in worshiping through Scripture Art as a way to help them through those trials. The most blessed benefit I’ve witnessed is students who take their art journals home to continue in this style of worship. I’ve seen them inspire others by using their Scripture Art journal as a tool to share the Gospel with family members and friends.


  • What are five “visual” verses in Scripture that you could introduce to your students so that they might create art with those verses?
  • Do you feel it’s important to model something like worship in class alongside your students? Why or why not?
  • If your schedule doesn’t allow time for an elective class like Scripture Art, then how can you incorporate/integrate Scripture Art into your classes?

And what do I do? I worship alongside them. I create. I pray. I read Scripture. I sing. I commune with God through art. It’s the best part of my week. I love worshiping with my students, and I love seeing them worship. I have filled two journals with Scripture Art over the six years I’ve been teaching this class. The beauty of those journals is that I have tangible evidence of worship to share with my students, and the beauty of those journals for me is that I have tangible evidence of God’s faithfulness and goodness.

God created us for worship. God created us to create. Every one of us. Truly this is more than an elective class.

For more inspiration follow my Scripture Art Class on Instagram @ScriptureArtClass, and check out for free printables and loads of other resources and ideas.

Angelica M. Young is a middle school teacher in Houston, Texas. She is also a Visual Faith Coach for Visual Faith Ministries and the School Project Director for Mission Nation Publishing.

Photo courtesy the author.