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Last week we hosted our first-ever Bible Journaling event at our church.
In all honesty, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it. I’m okay with making notes in my Bible margins, but I wasn’t sure I could handle using craft supplies…
Not only did I end up getting much more out of our event than I imagined, but it was obvious that our women enjoyed it too!
Like many of our women, you may be wondering what exactly is “Bible journaling”.
Sometimes called illustrating your faith, Bible journaling is the act of using craft supplies in a Bible to make note of a verse or idea that God has drawn one’s attention to. Many people consider it a time of worship. It’s a great tool to use for scripture memorization too.
It can be as simple as illustrating a verse or writing a verse in a fancy font.
It can be as complex as a watercolor and ink drawing.
There aren’t any formal rules and there’s really no wrong way to do it.
We were fortunate enough to find a speaker, Krissy, who has been journaling in her Bible for almost 10 years.
Before we picked up that first roll of washi tape, Krissy shared the story of how she began Bible journaling, how she uses that time to worship God, and some specific ways she’s responded to God in her Bible.
Understanding why Krissy journals in her Bible helped me to let go of the hesitation I had to use craft supplies in mine.
Krissy brought with her a huge assortment of supplies – stamps, watercolors, sponges, note cards, templates, washi tape, colored pencils, markers, etc.
The best part was she taught us how to use them!
We learned how to:
- Do a “tip in” – using washi tape we were able to attach note cards, drawings, and other mementos to our Bible.
- Use acrylic paints. We put a small amount on the plastic paint cards and pulled them to keep the paint transparent so the text in our Bible showed through. (See photo above.)
- Use stamp pads and sponges with templates to create a background.
Krissy demonstrated two Bible journaling techniques for us to try out, though we were welcome to use any of the supplies in any way we wanted.
- Sponge ink around the letters for “be brave” in our Bible.
- Trace and color an anchor in our Bible.
8 Tips for Hosting a Bible Journaling Event
1. Find someone experienced that can lead your event. Krissy led an event at a church nearby and they were kind enough to share her contact info with us. You may already have some women in your church that could teach your women a few basic Bible journaling techniques. If not, this Bible Journaling Handbook may be helpful. (Please note I have not personally reviewed this book.)
2. Show your women what Bible journaling is all about. Even though one of our women had her journaling Bible out at registration, several of our women thought we were going to be journaling (writing). Use photos in all of your publicity to help communicate your event.
3. Budget for supplies. Washi tape is a must! Consider purchasing some items to use as door prizes. Charge a small fee, maybe $5 a person, if needed to cover your costs.
4. Provide an alternative. Some of your women are not going to want to or be ready to put paint, stamps, washi tape, or anything else in their Bibles. You can provide sketch paper, a printed copy of scripture, or pages from a hymnal for them to practice on. You could even offer some coloring pages.
5. Be encouraging! Chances are this is a new experience for most of your women. It’s intimidating to permanently mark in your Bible. And the ideas you’ll find online can be difficult to recreate. Coach them into taking baby steps. If all they do is add some washi tape and a tip-in celebrate!
6. Be a role model. If you want your women to try it, you’ve got to be willing to do it too! I still can’t believe I put paint in my Bible. Admittedly I chose a page without text, but I did it!
7. Journaling Bibles are nice, but not necessary. Some of your women may want to eventually purchase a Bible with wide margins, however, it’s not necessary. You can be creative in any Bible!
8. You don’t have to be artistic! Most of your women will think they can’t do this because they can’t draw. You don’t have to draw – you can use stickers and stamps. You can embellish with washi tape. You can trace.