I’ve been working on a website called m6trix.com (be warned, you need broadband to view the site and it is still under construction!) that focuses upon the things we need to consider as we incorporate multi-media and story (what I call “imagenriching” or image rich content) into Christian preaching and teaching. I’ll be doing three classes on that at ACU Lectureship (Class 1, Class 2, Class 3).
One of the most fascinating areas of my study in preparation for both the website and for the classes has been to re-visit the teaching ministry of Jesus. Contextualizing Jesus’ teaching in its geographical places, social conditions, and traveling ministry reveals how Jesus used everyday images, many of which were no doubt visible in the eyes of his hearers as he spoke about them, to hang God’s truth on visual hooks in his hearers hearts.
In addition, Jesus used something we seem to have forgotten. Questions! Jesus’ questions were not so much his own form of the Socratic method of asking questions, but were his own unique approach to capturing his followers hearts and minds, making them think and decide, and calling on them to invest more of themselves. Yes, he used questions defensively, scathingly, and strategically with his opponents. However, his questions to his followers are the most intriguing to me.
To enhance my own personal study on this, I’ve been reading four books the questions Jesus asked. Each of them is entirely different from the other three. One takes the approach of a coach. Another is a collection of devotional thoughts on the questions of Jesus. Still another, by far the longest, is re-interpretation of Jesus’ questions focused on world peace, concern for the poor, and ecology. The best, in my opinion, is Conrad Gemp’s book, Jesus Asked. What He Wanted to Know. Not only is it short and written with humor, this book really gets to the point of Jesus’ asking questions.
As I study more and more about the primary means of communication of a culture impacting its means of learning (I call this matrix 1 or m1trix), the more I have realized how limited our modern modes of preaching and teaching actually have become. It is exciting to re-awaken to the wide variety of teaching and preaching conduits used by God’s servants in the past and the implications this has for our preaching and teaching in the future.
So what’s the point of all of this rambling? I need to find a better way for my Sunday “Time in the Word” to be more than a preacher’s yak fest. I’ve got to learn to ask better questions!