While working on college campuses I often see chalk advertising alerting students to various gatherings or making public service announcements. I thought this would be great for ministry! Today, I want to suggest a fun way to make announcements, invitations, or bring the Good News to your parishioners: Sidewalk Chalk for Catechesis!
The idea of bringing chalk to your church campus may be a new one. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you will definitely want to get approval before chalking up the place, but done tastefully could be very cool and effective for spreading the word! So how would this work? My mind is drawn first to youth ministry. What if teens arrived to mass and saw a reminder of retreat forms due tonight or bring a friend next week while walking in from the parking lot? I know at our parish the youth meet in a separate building from the church and classrooms. Using chalk, sidewalks could be converted to prayer squares, ice breakers, or simple reminders.
Along with conveying announcements, chalk marketing could also be used to display student work from religious education classes. For example, younger ones could draw symbols from their lessons such as hearts, rainbows, crosses, etc. Older children could draw timelines, Jesus or other saints, or maps. Teens could draw any of the above, or messages such as scripture, Pope quotes, or memes.
The great thing about sidewalk chalk for catechesis is it’s cheap, creative, and non-permanent. As soon as it rains (or is rinsed with a bucket of water) there is a fresh slate. Learning and reflecting in God’s classroom (outdoors) is a great way to break the typical lesson format and instill a fresh perspective with a hand’s on opportunity to reproduce the information, which is actually higher on Bloom’s hierarchy of learning!
While this idea may be more Earth flattering than Earth shattering, I think everyone should give sidewalk chalk for catechesis a try!