Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not Just Amused

Praise God for all the ways he provides and guides!  Thinking back on the last 24 hours, I'm particularly thankful for opportunities to meet with dear friends--last night at the Cokato Manor and then, this morning, in a local home and at a gas station.  What a privilege to come alongside brothers and sisters to meet needs in Jesus' name.  Thank you, Lord, for providing so many ways for us to see prayers answered!

When I got home to my desk and while I was starting on some paperwork, I listened to a radio show ("Mid morning") which today was focused on technology.  One idea particularly caught my attention--schools are in some ways flipping the idea of education around so that students get the content at home (through watching lectures in addition to reading) and then go to school to do what we normally think of as "homework," that is, writing papers and answering questions based on what was learned.  That way, there is personalized help available and classmates to work with. Maybe not new, but the idea is that the "lecture" concept of education is even more antiquated than I thought.

How does this apply to the church?  How will this impact me and others as we prepare for "sermons" and "Christian education?"  The fact is that people already get a lot of information, including Christian teaching at home (and in the car and wherever they go) through their reading and listening to media.  Maybe what I should be spending my time on, in regard to the "teaching" and "preaching" side of ministry, is to help our people agree on what they will be learning outside the church building (such as particular books or media that we would all read or listen to or view) and then, having read or listened to the same things outside of the church service, to spend our time together on sharing, conversation and prayer leading to group action.

Perhaps this would help us with what Neil Postman has called an imbalanced "information action ratio" (in his book "Amusing Ourselves To Death").  Do we really need to just give more "content" in sermons and teaching?  Should't we spend more prayer and energy focused on helping Christians do something with what they know?  Should that be a focus for the church instead of passive listening to sermons?

What do you think?


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