Skills required: ability to play Pictionary® and / or ability to draw stick figures.
Christian Mandalas† –What are they?
The Christian Mandalas books are a suite of Bible Study curriculum for individuals and small groups. Creating unique drawings as you study Scripture, you deeply engage with the Word of God through your sense of vision.
(Again, drawing level required: Pictionary/stick figures).
There are coloring books (with simple or complex mandalas), coloring journals, and 10-week Bible study books which can be completed in any order. In addition, if you like a challenge, there are two, advanced fine art books which explore very unique ways to learn about Christ.
Christian Mandalas† – Are they Christian?
Whether you’re talking about the books or the circular mandalas themselves—the answer is yes. The Bible curriculum is following 800 years of Christians creating mandalas. Probably the most notable example is Martin Luther’s Seal, created by using common Christian Symbols to build a statement of faith. The very center of the seal, and Luther’s statement of faith, focuses on Christ.
Other examples of mandalas come in the form of circular, stain glass windows throughout European Cathedrals and other Christian churches around the world.
No incense burning, no chanting, Christ alone.
Christian Mandalas† – How is this curriculum different?
The curriculum uses four key learning modes to help you deeply absorb Scripture.
Vision: The curriculum suite uses our sense of vision. Half of what your brain does while you’re awake is process vision. By translating the Scripture you read into a simple picture or diagram, you’re ability to remember it increases by a factor of six to seven times. Brain Rules.
Did Jesus use vision? Yes, a lot of times! He wrote on the ground when the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him. He told the disciple Thomas to look at his wounds. He had a child brought in front of the disciples as an illustration. Jesus washed his disciple’s feet as an object lesson. Jesus used a coin to illustrate his discussion on paying taxes to Caesar. These are just a few examples of how Jesus used vision to teach.
Repetition: We repeat to remember. The study books in particular use a two-fold repetition. Within the small group, each person studies the same passage of Scripture three times throughout the week. With each reading, the passage is processed by the individual in a different way. This is the first set of repetitions. At the end of the week, the group comes together and we each share the insights we gained from our individual study. This sharing is the second set of repetitions. These repetitions give a greater perspective on a particular text, and the discussion helps group members retain the information from both their studies and others.
Did Jesus use repetition? Yep, look at Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22-23, and Matthew 20:17-19. Chapter after chapter, Jesus told his disciples that he was going to die and that he would be resurrected.
(Pop quiz: What’s the drawing level required for the Bible Study books?)
Creativity: We are made in the image of God. God creates. We create. By using our creativity as we interact with Scripture, we become more invested in the verses and gain new insights into God’s Word.
Did Jesus create? Yes, he gave us parables, object lessons, memorable sayings, and so much more.
Curiosity: The Christian Mandala study approach awakens curiosity through the use of Art and / or Bible commentaries. You’re encouraged to ask why, to seek, and to find. Curiosity is one of the most powerful learning mechanisms available to us.
In Matthew 7:28, it states: “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,…”
Jesus awoke curiosity in his learners by telling stories, parables. Jesus used hyperbole as well. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” Additionally, Jesus asked provocative questions.
Why does the Christian Mandalas curriculum focus so much on Scripture?
There is a large amount of statistical data which shows that reading and reflecting on Scripture is the most effective way for Christ-like transformation. Move.
† Christian Mandalas is a trademark of Kerry M. Pierce