You Ought to be in Pictures
The verbal church is dying. The church based solely upon the talking head in front of the room espousing profundities and relying upon printed text to convey truth is on life support and most people do not even know it is sick. I think I began this discover process a few years back and have seen it become more and more a reality in the past few years.
We are visual people. As a matter of fact, if you were cruising blogs you probably stopped because of the picture rather than the title of the entry. We are people who receive information through environment, metaphor and our multiple senses. I would venture a guess that most of us could not go more than a few days without receiving or conveying information in picture or metaphor. Movies understand that. They create the full environment. They are changing culture not reflecting it and are delving into much deeper spiritual issues than some churches. I’m not saying they are proclaiming the truth but they are testing the boundaries of acceptability about the truth. Movies are challenging us to think (now that’s a change) and to discuss what is reality and what is truth.
Now while some of you are aghast, others are realizing that this need to teach on multiple levels in not new. As a matter of fact, this is the way Jesus taught. He spoke of fish on the beach where the smell of fish would be hanging heavy in the air. He spoke to farmers of planting and reaping, taught while eating with sinners and even the Eucharist is a completely multi-sensory experience embodying sight, sound, taste and touch.
So, what do we in the church do to embrace this move? We have to return to using all the senses to share the Gospel. We must be intentional about creating an environment that teaches. Creating metaphors that teach, using visuals that illustrate and music that inspires are the first steps toward becoming multi-sensory. The other step we can make to teach with sight, sound, taste and touch is by sharing the Eucharist at every worship service. Not only does it make every worship service multi-sensory, it assures that Christ is mysteriously present (another value on the rise!) amidst the body of Christ gathered.
There will be controversy. Revolution always causes controversy. The change will happen, whether we embrace is or it is forced upon us, it is on the way. Will we learn and grow or continue to whither away? I remain:
Lost in Grace,
Gracious God who teaches us in many ways, help us not be limited by our own prejudices about methods but be willing to embrace the move of your Spirit. Help us to share the gospel like Paul by doing whatever it takes to help others discover You. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, we pray. Amen.