Sunday, November 21, 2010

trying to meet the future 
by doing what we did in the past.

I watched a video on education reform making the rounds on Facebook this afternoon while doing some household chores.  It's a 20 minute clip of Sir Ken Robinson [personal site], a speaker and writer, advisor on education.  It's clever, insightful, concise and potentially disturbing.  He basically makes the point that the world is rapidly changing.  We don't know what life will be like in 30 years (when my kids will be active adults) let alone in 5 years.  And yet we continue to educate children in the same way that we have for over 100 years.  While keep trying to address the paradigms of the 21st century, seeking to educate our children so that they have a sense of cultural identity, so that we can pass on the cultural genes of our communities while being a part of the process of globalization, with strategies and expectations of the 19th century.  We are continually trying to meet the future by doing what we did in the past.

I'm including the video below.  I found it invigorating thinking about my own children and the near-epic struggle to ensure that that get a life-feeding education.  In my own work as pastor - a teacher alongside a community of faith - I wonder if we aren't doing the same thing. Do we do church in a way that was conceived for the context of the 19th and 20th centuries dominated by the transformational experiences of what we call the Reformation and the Enlightenment?  Maybe our churches have decreasing attendance and increasingly bored members because we are talking about faith in a way that doesn't resonate with our questions of today and the ways in which we process our wonderings about the meaning of life.  Church is focused around a sermon: a passive listening to an expert talk to you about something in an abstract way.  A format that seems to be the least sought after in the ways in which people live, work and communicate today.

If you're game to respond to this post, why do you find church incoherent, out-to-lunch or less than life-giving?

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