"College students spend a lot of time listening to lectures. But research shows there are better ways to learn. And experts say students need to learn better because the 21st century economy demands more well-educated workers. Lecturing was invented as a way to share information in a time before books were widely available. Now, there are better approaches."
My friend Andy Thompson turned me on to this article on lecture-based learning and college education. See: http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/tomorrows-college/lectures.
Basically, lecturing is old school and ineffective. Maybe you already knew that. But there are some ideas about what's next in education. As a pastor, I'm always listening and learning. The preaching and teaching of the Word of God demands our best. Of course I'm not suggesting a change in the "content." But our means can be as varied as the literary genres of the Bible. From prophets to wisdom literature, historical narrative to acacolyptic literature. And don't forget about the tactile nature of the sacraments. You can touch and taste.
Two things I have learned educationally:
- Learning is relational. Preaching, teaching, and learning do not happen in a vacuum. The Word is digested in community. Discipleship is not a book, but people pouring into people. This includes preaching, and also conversation, debate, prayer, and living together through shared experiences.
- Learning is incarnational. People relate what they learn to what they already know. Preaching and teaching requires that we make connections to what people already know and experience. Therefore it is vital for preachers and teachers to listen well and study their context.
Let me know if you have educational insights or thoughts on this article. Tell me what you've always wanted to tell your pastor about his preaching and teaching.