Saturday, October 10, 2015

just stop talking

(this post is a follow on from previous - 'the big story')

The power for learning is in your own hands - literally.   

Last night David Kinnaman from the Barna group shared an interesting statistic at NYMC: “There are more cell phones in the world than toilets.  That means there is more crap going into our brains than we’re getting rid of.”

Aside from the obvious humour of this statement (and some might suggest the obvious crassness), this serves to illustrate a clear reality in the culture of the emerging generation.  That is, that while human desires haven’t changed historically, access to explore those desires has. Technology is more readily accessible to this generation than it ever has been before - and not only technology - information ... and competing worldviews.

In the midst of us bemoaning the danger this might be to the soul - it’s helpful for us to notice what this means for how the emerging generation accesses education.

In my family, when one of our kids asks a hard question, the most common response?

“Google it.”  

Now, we try and coach our boys in testing the accuracy and agenda behind the information they’ll interact with, but this phrase reveals a fundamental shift in who holds the power in education.  

I’ve seen this shift even in my own behaviour - when I read an article, or hear a great speaker - I research, cross reference, and begin to draw my own conclusions on the information being thrown my way - then and there.  I’ve come to expect that my learning is in my own hands.

I can't help but think that this is the reason why young people are so willing to accept the invitation of discovery-based learning.  A key feature of the new paradigm - the new operating system - isn’t just about using technology, but about learning how this technology has changed the behaviour of people.

When we deny people permission from participating in their learning - they will simply check out.  It’s time for us to implement (and some would say rediscover) participative learning in our bible engagement and discipleship.

This is hard - much of our church programming is around the corporate gathering where an “expert” teaches the rest of us - but we must adapt.  There are few arenas left in our culture where we are forced to become spectators OF something - we simply must invite people to be participants IN something.


So, we have decided to stop talking at the outset of learning.  We invite people into a discovery-based process, and as they accept that invitation, the depth of their learning is often far more significant than what it would have been if we just kept on talking.

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