Saturday, March 17, 2007

Web 2.0 & Wiki-Sermon

Great ideas are not as rare as you might think. Most people are filled with them.

But a great idea that is never implemented is worthless. And a great idea that is implemented weakly is of little value.

I had a reasonably good idea of harnessing the power of Web 2.0 to enhance the development of sermons based on the lectionary readings.

(There are several different ideas about what is at the heart of Web 2.0. I believe that the key component is that the users are also the developers. I think Wikipedia is an excellent example of the power of Web 2.0.)

But here's the problem. My implementation of this idea has been clunky, at best.

So let's use the Web 2.0 paradigm to refine (or completely redo) the way this concept is implemented. In other words, let's work together to decide how to make this work for all of us.

Let me explain some of my thinking behind Wiki-Sermon.

  • I am not trying to replace exegetical commentaries. There are many resources already available to help in understanding the basic meaning of the text.

  • I am not looking for a shortcut to getting at the "meaning" of a text. The Bible is not a mathematical formula to be computed so that we can arrive at the "correct answer." Much of the value of exegesis is in struggling with the text itself. It is no more possible to understand the meaning of a passage without some hard work than it is to learn a foreign language without focused concentration.

  • I am looking for a way that each person's unique experience can contribute to the collective understanding of the text. The Bible speaks to us as people, not computers.

  • I am not trying to trick people into doing my work for me. If this is a one-sided project (where the readers do all the work and I reap all the benefit), then it will never work. Everyone must benefit.

  • I am looking for creative ways to connect the message of the text with the culture we live in. It is of little value to keep repeating the same tired clich├ęs. Even profound truth can become boring through familiarity.

  • I am looking for resources that can be used to "preach to the imagination:" stories, books, movies, songs, art, etc.

  • I want this to enhance the preaching experience for listeners. My idea is that someone who participates in the development process will find listening to a message from the lectionary readings much more engaging. A good analogy is classic music. Those who appreciate the nuances of a Bach composition will find a concert more enjoyable. Those who understand what's going on in jazz have a much richer experience than casual listeners.

  • I want to change the dynamic of preaching from conveying information to creating an opportunity for people to know God more intimately. Christians generally have plenty of information. They don't need to know more facts. They need to know God better.

  • I want build in a "feedback loop" before the sermon is given. It is good to find out what people think and feel after hearing a sermon. (Communication is not a precise process.) But it is even better to get "feedback" in advance.

  • I want to change the sermon from the product of an individual to a product of a community. The sermon is too important to leave its development to a single person.

So I need your help.

  • Do you see value in this idea?
  • Do you agree with my assumptions?
  • Do you want to add a few of your own?
  • Do you have some ideas how the process and result might be more useful for you?
  • What suggestions do you have for how to implement the idea?

Thanks for taking the time to think about this.

Pastor Rod

"Helping you become the person God created you to be"

1 comment:

Jackline said...

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