Activity 3: Creating a Leader's Mask
Activity time: 55 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Blank face masks for all participants
- Paints and decorating materials to share
- Two small paintbrushes, one narrow and one wider, for each participant
- Materials for decorating masks and appropriate craft glue(s)
- Newspaper to cover work tables; cups of water or paint thinner, as appropriate; paper towels and other clean-up materials
Preparation for Activity
- Purchase blank masks made of cardboard, paper mache, Styrofoam, or plastic at an art supply or craft store.
- Obtain paints and brushes. Use water-based paints for cardboard or paper mache masks, acrylic or enamel for Styrofoam or plastic. (Note: Plastic masks are difficult to paint on; you may wish to provide permanent markers.)
- Obtain decorative materials such as feathers, ribbon, applique and stickers, and appropriate craft glue.
- Cover work tables with newspaper. Set out a blank mask and two brushes for each participant. Set paints, water or paint thinner, paper towels and decorating materials on work tables for participants to share.
- Identify a place where participants can leave wet masks to dry after the workshop. Spread newspaper there, as well.
Description of Activity
Tell the group they will each paint and decorate a mask to express themselves as congregational leaders, after a brief, guided meditation.
Invite participants to sit comfortably and close their eyes as they are comfortable. Read the meditation, pausing to allow reflection after each question:
We are going to envision our roles as congregational leaders through a brief guided meditation. Please sit comfortably. Either close your eyes or focus on an object in the room. Take three, slow, deep breaths, counting silently to four on each inhale and exhale.
Think about your role as a leader in your congregation. What or who first recognized your potential to be a leader?
When did you realize that you were a leader?
Think about the leadership positions you have held, events you've planned, programs or groups you have led or times you have been part leading worship. What dangers or challenges have you faced along the way?
What is it that grounds you and helps you to maintain your own integrity in the face of dangers and challenges?
How has your becoming a leader been connected with your spiritual growth?
Bring your attention back to the room as you are ready, and finish with three more slow, deep breaths.
When everyone has returned their attention to the group, invite them to depict themselves in their role as a congregational leader by painting a face mask. Their mask can be either concrete or abstract, whichever expresses them best. Show them the materials you have assembled and invite them to begin working. Point out that some may choose to work silently and others may prefer to converse and share with others as they work.
Once all masks are complete, invite participants to share them either with the entire group or in small groups, depending on the overall group size and the time available. Ask participants to explain each element of the mask and how it represents them as a congregational leader.
Including All Participants
If a participant expresses a lack of confidence in their artistic abilities, encourage them to use their fear or concern as part of their mask.
If any participants are unable to paint or decorate, you may choose to use Alternate Activity 1, Favorite Hymns, or Alternate Activity 2, Our Leadership Stories - Going Deeper.