What is a gospel chalk talk?
A gospel chalk talk is a way to convey the message of the gospel in a way that appeals to the visual sense as well as hearing. The chalk artist begins with a short message. The artist then illustrates the message in visible chalk, live before the audience, while playing music, which supports the theme of the message. Upon completion of the visible picture, there is a hidden blacklight picture revealed, as the presentation ends with presenting the gospel message of salvation.
Why chalk talk?
The audience may retain 80% of what they see as compared to 20% of what they hear. Someone who may not pay much attention to simply hearing a sermon, may sit enthralled as the message is illustrated in chalk and unfolds in visual form. The message may be further impacted by the blacklight reveal after the visible picture is completed.
What audience does it appeal to?
A chalk talk appeals to both young and old. Even children as young as 3 or 4, will frequently prompt comments from the pastor or parents of the children, that they could not believe how quiet the children were during the presentation. It’s that visual appeal of the creative process that holds the attention of the viewer, much as a caricaturist captivates the audience as he draws live before his audience.
How long does a presentation last?
Most presentations are completed in 30 to 35 minutes, tailored to a typical one hour service to allow time for welcoming visitors, announcements, singing, and tithes and offering.
Are there requirements of the venue?
Yes, there are a few things we need:
- The room must be over 8 feet in height to accommodate the height of the chalkboard.
- Total darkness is required for maximum effect of the blacklight reveal at the end of the presentation.
- A sound system to play the music CD, and a microphone for speaking.
- An electrical outlet nearby for the light hood that is mounted over the drawing board.
What do you do with the completed drawing?
The picture is usually donated to the person who brought the most visitors, as the desire is to use it as an outreach to bring in people who may otherwise never visit a church. In other venues, the picture is sometimes raffled off, or simply donated to the organization that invited me to do the talk. I allow for flexibility here.
What are the costs involved?
We ask for a love offering, and require reimbursement for travel expenses and lodging and meals, if distance requires an overnight stay.
What is the set up process like?
We usually like to arrive an hour before people arrive, in order to set up, check lights and sound, talk to contact person, discuss controlling house lights and sound system.
Is there any clean up?
It takes about a half hour to clean up and pack up equipment, unless we are delayed talking to people, which frequently happens , as people are usually curious about how the hidden picture was done.
How did you get started in chalk talks?
Back in the 80’s , I attended a Bill Gothard seminar, in which he did a couple of chalk talks. I was so amazed, and being artistic wanted to pursue that form of art. It was a unique and different way to present the gospel, and I felt the God wanted me to use my talents in this area.
How do I book an event?
I usually like at least two weeks notice before booking an event to give me time to prep the blacklight and practice the visible drawing. Speed is essential in the presentation. I usually aim for 20 minutes or less for the actual drawing, which is generally the maximum attention span for most people.
What type of music will accompany the presentation?
The music I use in the background while I draw varies depending on many things. I try to pick music that fits the theme of the talk, so that it captures the person’s auditory senses as well as the visual. This may vary from instrumental to older hymns to contemporary christian music.