Say it better

I once had vague ideas of starting a business dedicated to helping people get their message across better. Not an advertising agency, but a communication enhancement centre. And I'll tell you, we Christians need to enhance our communication!

We have the greatest message in the world - God's unrelenting love, grace and mercy poured out to us in extravagant ways. But so often, we present that message through long-winded, boring speeches.

Our message says 'born again'. Our method says 'boring again'.

Good teaching and learning involves these things:

hearing
seeing
feeling
touching
tasting
moving
doing
questioning
thinking
participating
speaking
telling stories
engaging with people
thinking thoughts
knowing facts
making deductions
feeling emotions
stirring passions
translating his experience across to my experience
reflecting
stopping

A lot of the time, preachers will stop at the first one on my list - hearing. And they sometimes don't get to the last one until 40 or 50 minutes later, without using the others on the list.

Lecture-style Christian talks are often great. They frequently include marvellous, deep reflections on the text and great applications to life.

But I think the Christian subculture I belong to has the mind-set that says listening to (or delivering) a long Christian lecture is the ultimate in 'serious' Christianity. If you can do either of those, you are taking the Bible seriously and you are growing in your faith.

My point is, however, that there are other ways to learn and engage with the same content more effectively than sitting through a long talk.

I'd be interested in your ideas for how you'd like to see Christian teaching and learning done. What are the benefits of the current model? What do you think we miss by not doing it differently? How could it practically work in a church situation? How can we use more interactive models of teaching, but still keep the input from people who have good insights into context, meaning and application (traditionally the preachers)?

Firewheel PressComment