For the large version I joined 3 pieces of A2 paper together and laid them out on a table. We found the smallest child in the younger half of the class, got them to lie on top of the paper and we drew around them. I'm glad we decided to do this because the children thought it was absolutely hilarious - it was a shame we didn't get a photo of them watching because they were all smiling and laughing their heads off as though they'd never seen anything so absurd! The outlines were drawn in pencil by volunteers from each class and I gave some help with this. When the outline was complete, the child was removed and we went over the lines in black pen. From this point on the children used their A4 drawings and the diagrams from my sketchbook to draw out large versions of the organs in the body. We went round the class and they took it in turns to draw the different parts. They coloured and labelled each part, including limbs as well as organs and as we had a bit of extra time they chose more body parts from the diagram to add into the new big body.
Alongside the drawing we had a bit of stencilling on the go. We had brought a couple of letter stencils with us and while the last few bits of the drawing were being done we gave some children a new sheet of A2 and a verse to copy using the stencils. The verse was to go with the body drawing and it came from 1 Corinthians:
"Now all of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it." (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I have been reminded of this passage a lot over the last year or two and it seemed very fitting to use alongside this drawing project. The children would not only learn a bit more about the human body and enjoy doing some drawing and colouring, but hopefully they would connect the project to God and see that He has made each of them with a purpose, just like the different body parts they had been drawing out.
Physically speaking we are all pretty similar...we have hearts and lungs and other body parts! But we are each unique with different personalities, gifts, abilities and interests. God has made us each to be different but to work together just as each part of the body is different but is joined together to work as one body. He has made each of us with a plan in mind and the plan He has for each of us joins like a thread with everyone else's lives to reveal the big picture: His huge world wide plan which sees the good news and love of Jesus being reached and experienced by people in all corners of the world.
Some parts of the body seem more important than others. We know how important lungs are because we need them to breathe; without lungs we would have no breath and we would die. But are lungs more important than the other body parts? I would say no. Lungs are great at doing their job, they are a very important part of the body, but they are not more important than the other parts. Maybe parts like arms or hands don't seem so vital when compared to the lungs because you can live without them, but they are still important for things essential to life such as hugging, reaching, helping, holding, balancing, carrying, writing, drawing....all sorts of amazing things that lungs can't do! Breathing is vital for living, but there is so much more to life than just being able to breathe; every part of the body needs to work together to fully live life.
It is easy to tell how some body parts are important because we can literally see how they are being used. We can look at feet and see that they support us when we stand and they allow us to walk. But many parts of the body are hidden, their importance unrecognised or unknown. Sometimes in life we can feel like those parts of the body, we don't see our place or purpose. Just because you can't see your place or purpose doesn't mean you don't have one!
When I think of the church as a body there are some people I can easily identify as having similarities to parts of a human body: We have evangelists who are like the feet, stepping out and bringing good news to people. We have preachers who are like mouths that speak the word and teach the rest of the body. There are prophets who are like eyes, seeing things as they really are or seeing what's up ahead. But what about all the other people? There are so many parts of the body that are hidden, whose work is unseen. There are people in the church who don't seem very important to the running of things, maybe they don't seem to do much in the service each week, they don't preach, lead worship or even serve the teas and coffees! Could they really be an important part of the body?
Often things like praying, words of encouragement, financial giving and showing love and support to people happen completely unknown to other church members! All important jobs that often go unnoticed by the majority.
We are each different and we are each necessary. We are each separate but we join together to make one body. When the body is rightly aligned and each part functions as intended, the body can live. We need God to keep us aligned and doing what He made us to do, so that we work together, can be filled with the breath of his Holy Spirit and can live.