Phew. It’s been awhile since I’ve done much blogging here, but it’s not because we’ve been lazy – we promise! This winter and spring has been quite a time of growth for Illustrated Ministry, and I just wanted to take a moment to catch you up on what’s going on and what’s up next for us.
Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters
I imagined that our Stations of the Cross Coloring Posters would be popular, but I don’t think I quite imagined they would take off like they did! In the end, we sold 1000 sets of our physical posters to churches, and another 418 digital files to church.
[Just an aside here – trying to figure out how to deal with 40 large boxes of coloring posters in a small one-car garage, and how to get them all shipped with labels, was an interesting time…but we did it. And now that we have a real label printer, it’s not a horribly annoying process to print labels.]
And our customers, once again, came from all over the world, so we had people in the US, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Greenland, South Africa and other places coloring our posters and reflecting on the last hours of Jesus’ life.
These 1418 communities also weren’t just churches. We had hospitals, schools, retirement communities, college campuses and others. One thing we really found inspiring was the very creative ways that people have been using our materials, and while we have tried to share that in the past, we’re going to try sharing those stories with you in a new way. Starting in June, we’ll be creating a new series on our blog called Community Spotlight. We will take time to feature individual communities, share how they used our products and hear from them what benefit it brought to their community.
We hope this new feature on our blog will continue to encourage the creative work of our community and be a source of inspiration for many.
An Illustrated Compassion: Learning to Love Like God
This spring, we also launched our second curriculum, An Illustrated Compassion: Learning to Love Like God. We thought this was an appropriate theme based on all that is going on in our world. This year, we took feedback customers gave to us after we launched An Illustrated Earth last year, and built upon the success of that curriculum. We added in some additional activities this year, as well as worked with local Chicago composer Geoff Duffy to write four original songs to go with the curriculum. You can hear some samples of the music below. I love how it turned out – very fun music for children to sing:
We are excited to know hear how people plan to use An Illustrated Compassion in their communities. If you want to learn more about it, you can find all of the information about both the curriculum and the coloring posters here.
We will continue to be working on our Illustrated Worship Resources for the RCL year-round, and our large Advent and Lent coloring posters and family devotional materials. But we are also going to start creating more “one-off resources” (like this Pentecost coloring illustration), working on our new clip-art gallery, which will probably be coming out in volumes, and we’re going to begin considering offering additional physical products (like stickers and post cards). And for all of my Lutheran friends out there (or others who are planning some big celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation), be looking this summer for a possible giant coloring poster made just for you.
At any rate – things are going well here at Illustrated Ministry, our team is growing, and we have some fun plans in store for the future. As always, we’d love to hear from you if you have thoughts or suggestions for us. And don’t forget – you can always suggest product ideas to us here.