On October 17, we released our third set of Advent coloring posters, our Advent Journey Coloring Posters. Thousands of churches around the world have used our large coloring posters, and we are particularly excited about this year’s poster theme and illustrations. These six coloring posters will walk you and your community through the journey of Advent, Christmas, and into Epiphany. With these posters, your community can journey together, color and do art together, and have a chance to create meaningful intergenerational relationships.
So many different groups of people have used our coloring posters over the years: Sunday School classes, youth groups, college ministries, nursing home residents and more! But we’ve found that churches who have taken the time to create intergenerational opportunities with the coloring posters have received one of the greatest gifts of all: deepened relationships among people of all ages.
In addition to our large physical coloring posters, we will also offer the products below:
- A digital version of the posters (and a bundle of both digital + physical)
- 8.5×11 coloring pages (including a simplified version for our youngest artists)
- An Advent Journey Devotional Guide (to use as a companion guide to our Advent Journey Coloring Posters & Pages)
We know many churches are starting to plan for Advent already, and we wanted to let you know a bit about our Advent Journey Coloring Posters. We hope you’ll take a moment to check out this post and look at the poster illustrations below.
Advent Journey Poster Themes
This Advent, we want to provide you with the necessary resources so you can walk your community through a journey. This journey begins as we work our way through some Advent scripture passages, followed by Christmas, and finally as we eventually move into Epiphany. Our six coloring posters will guide you through these different parts of the church year through art, coloring and interactive reflection. Below you will find a brief description of each of the posters.
Poster 1: Keep Awake
We begin our Advent Journey with the reminder (and exhortation) to “Keep awake – Keep alert!” Our God is a God who constantly looks for ways to surprise us and catch us off guard. The Holy finds its way through cracks, and if we are awake and alert, we have a better chance of seeing God show up in all of the large, and small, ways that God makes Godself known to us.
Here in this poster, we have a group of people looking to the heavens and keeping watch and staying alert (inspired by Isaiah 64:1, “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down…”).
Scripture Found in Poster: Mark 13:24-37
Note about the poster illustrations here. When you click on the B&W version of the poster, you’ll see a larger color version, which can help give you a sense of what they’ll look like when they’re colored.
Poster 2: Prepare
When we think of John the Baptist, we may imagine that no one could miss him because he was so eccentric. But he was also out in the wilderness, and while people came to him to be baptized, there were probably many others who weren’t paying enough attention to know about him. If we are awake, alert and watching for God’s presence in the world, we are more receptive to receive what God has for us. Even if it means finding an odd character like John the Baptist.
John’s message to the people of his day, and to us, is to “Prepare!” And that is what we do during Advent – we are preparing ourselves, our families, our communities, for the birth of love into this world.
Here in this poster, we have John the Baptist, out in the wilderness by the River Jordan, ready to baptize those who would make the journey to be baptized.
Scripture Found in Poster: Psalm 85:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 and 2 Peter 3:9
Poster 3: Do Not Be Afraid
“Do not be afraid” is a common refrain used throughout biblical stories and one that we need to hear over and over again. In our world today, and in a world that we fear and imagine is possible in the future, we need to be reminded not to be afraid.
Here in this poster, we have the angel Gabriel coming to bring this important message to Mary, as Mary’s life changes forever with the news of the child that will be born, Jesus.
Scripture Found in Poster: Luke 1:26-38 and Psalm 89:1
Poster 4: My Soul Magnifies the Lord
If we accept the angel’s invitation to “Not be afraid” – this can often put us in a posture to be more receptive to what God might have for us. We see this in Mary’s response both to the angel’s exhortation to not fear and the news that she would bear a son and name him Jesus.
Mary’s response is “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” This is not the response from someone who is living in fear. When we do not fear, we open ourselves to all of the amazing (and unbelievable!) things that God has planned for our lives.
Here in this poster, we have Mary responding to the angel Gabriel’s news for her. We can see a look of contentment on her face as she ponders all of these amazing words.
Scripture Found in Poster: Isaiah 61:10 and Luke 1:46b-55
Poster 5: The Christmas Story
From the decree of Emperor Augustus to Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, to the birth of Jesus, shepherds, angels and more, our fifth poster walks people through the Christmas story. Surrounding the illustrated story, we find scripture references that tell different portions of the biblical prophecies and promises of the Christmas story.
Scripture Found in Poster: Isaiah 9:2,6, Luke 2, Titus 2:11, and John 1:14
Poster 6: Reflecting On Your Journey
As we move from Advent and Christmas into Epiphany and a new year, this final poster will give your community the chance to do some reflecting on the themes of Advent in their own lives and what it means for them moving forward into 2018.
As you can see below, this poster’s primary purpose is to serve as a tool to prompt ideas, prayers, conversations, and hopes for the upcoming new year.
Participants will be encouraged to write or draw their responses to the following four questions:
- Keep Awake: What are you watching for?
- Prepare: What are you preparing for?
- Do Not Be Afraid: What do you need to stop fearing?
- My Soul Magnifies the Lord: What are you praising God for?
Advent Journey Coloring Posters
While Illustrated Ministry has only been around since 2015, this year’s Advent posters are the seventh set of large coloring posters we’ve released. We’ve learned a lot over the past two years, and we’re confident that these are our best coloring posters yet.
Part of what makes the posters so great is the paper they’re printed on. When you buy the physical posters from us, you will receive the illustrations on an amazingly high-quality paper.
The Paper: We’ve gone through a few different types of paper with our coloring posters, and we are pleased with the paper we are currently using (we first used it with our Illustrated Compassion Coloring Posters last spring). This is a very thick and sturdy 32-pound paper – which is what we’ve used in the past. However, we learned that the coating on a previous paper we used made it a little difficult to color the poster with some marker sets.
We tested a variety of different papers last spring, and we found a paper that works amazingly well with colored pencils, crayons, AND markers, and since then, we haven’t received any comments about having problems with markers.
Since we are still working on getting set up for international shipping, and even then, we probably won’t be at a place where we can ship everywhere in the world, we believe in providing our poster illustrations as downloadable digital files. We also know that for some folks, getting the digital files can be more convenient, and so we are happy to provide that resource.
However, the quality of paper you will get at Staples or FedEx (or other print shops), is not nearly as nice as the quality that we provide when we ship the posters to you. Don’t get us wrong – it’s certainly not bad (we shipped our first two sets of coloring posters after having them printed at Staples). But now that we have a relationship with a local, family-owned print shop in Chicago, they can provide us with a very high-quality paper that will stand up to all the little kids who will want to crawl around on the posters.
Ways to Use Our Advent Journey Coloring Posters
We are so excited to see all of the creative ways that congregations and communities use these Advent Journey Coloring Posters. Over 1,000 churches used last year’s posters, and we loved seeing all of the amazing photos they shared with us. Here are some testimonials from churches who have used our posters in the past.
As we mentioned above, we’ve learned that most churches find the posters to be a slam dunk when it comes to developing intergenerational ministry. If you’re looking for ways to use these posters intergenerationally, here are a few ideas:
- Host an all-ages education hour during Advent. Use our Advent Journey Devotional Guide as your curriculum for the classes.
- Start coloring the posters during your Advent Fair.
- Have your children’s ministry or youth ministry take a poster to a nursing home to color with the residents.
- Host a simple soup/salad/sandwiches dinner on Wednesday nights during Advent and have conversation and coloring before or after eating together.
- Leave the coloring posters out on tables during Fellowship/Coffee Hour after church for people to sit, color, and talk with one another.
There are so many wonderful ways to gather intergenerationally and color these posters. Here are some other ways that we know churches have used our posters:
- Children’s Ministry: Find ways to incorporate the posters into your Sunday morning programs for children (whether that’s during Sunday School or during another time).
- During Worship: Dedicate a portion of your worship space to allow young people (and those who are young at heart) to color during worship. We’ve heard this is an excellent way to allow children to engage with worship in a fun and creative way.
- Youth Ministry: Children aren’t the only ones who like to color. We’ve had hundreds of youth programs around the world use our coloring posters. Give your kids a ‘study break’ some week when it’s close to finals and allow them to color one of the posters.
- College/campus ministries: We’ve also had many campus ministries use our coloring posters. And we’ve seen photos of our posters in some faculty lounges at colleges where professors have worked on a poster together!
- Private/Parochial Schools: Some private Christian schools have purchased our posters and found ways to engage multiple classrooms in creating a collaborative art project.
How do YOU plan on using your Advent Journey Coloring Posters?
Here’s What You Need To Know
Poster Details & Cost
Our Advent Journey Coloring Posters are made up of 6 large posters. The first four are 3’ x 2’, and the remaining two are 6’ x 2’. You can purchase the physical posters, digital files to print yourself, or grab the bundle of both for the most options.
The cost for our Advent Journey Coloring Posters are listed below:
- Physical Coloring Posters: $79
- Poster Bundle: Physical Coloring Posters + Digital Files: $109
- Digital Files ONLY: $49*
- Digital File of Poster 5 ONLY: $19. Like last year, we will also be selling the digital print of JUST Poster 5 (“The Christmas Story”) for those who need a smaller coloring project during Advent this year.
* We realize that most people won’t have access to a printer that can print out Posters 5 and 6 (which are 6′ wide and 2′ tall). So while we will include those two digital files for the last two posters, we will also include four digital files that split those two posters into four separate posters, each 3′ wide and 2′ tall. If you choose to print them that way, you will end up printing eight 3’x2′ posters, and Posters and 6 will look like the images below:
Our posters are now available. We will ship the posters based on the order that we received the orders. So, the sooner you want your posters, the sooner you should order!
UPS ships our posters in heavy-weight cardboard poster tubes. Because we use UPS, we cannot ship posters to P.O. Boxes. If you list a P.O. Box as the shipping address, your order will be delayed until we can figure out a different address.
International Shipping: We have great news about international shipping. We can now ship our coloring posters to Canada! We are going to test the process out with our Canadian friends to see how things go, and then we may look into additional countries to ship to.
Like always, all of our international customers can purchase the digital version of the posters and get them printed locally.
How Can I Find Out More Information About the Posters?
We hope you’re as excited about our Advent Journey Coloring Posters as we are. And we’d love to make sure you know exactly when we release them. Here are some ways that you can stay updated on the launch of our posters:
- ICM Email List: The best way to make sure you don’t miss any announcements about our Advent Journey Coloring Posters is to download the free informational PDF linked to in this blog post. You’ll get the free PDF as a gift, and we’ll make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
- Social Media: Following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is another way to make sure you see our poster announcement. And besides, we have a lot of fun on social media, and we’d love for you to join us!
- ICM Community Facebook Group: Finally – if you haven’t joined our Facebook GROUP yet (and yes, this IS different than our Facebook Page – which you should probably LIKE as well), I’d highly recommend it. Our Illustrated Children’s Ministry Community Facebook Group is a wonderful online community that shares ideas, examples of how people are using our materials, and we get a lot of great feedback and product ideas from our community members. Plus, there are exclusive discounts/promos given to our Facebook Group from time to time. You can request to join the Group here.
What Questions Do You Have?
Do you have questions about our Advent Journey Coloring Posters? We will be taking your questions in the Facebook Group, but you can also leave them as comments here and we will reply as soon as we are able. We may also collect questions and hold a Facebook Live Event where we will go through all of the poster questions. So let us know how we can be helpful in answering your questions.