Something I’ve been thinking about…

Seth Godin writes some pretty interesting things on his blog about talking and teaching. They are things we should be thinking about in church communications. Here are some highlights, but you should read the whole post.

What’s the point of talking to a group?

I’m serious. We spend a lot of time in presentations, or at the United Nations, or sending our kids to school. We have orientation sessions and keynote speeches and long-winded oratory on the floor the Senate. Why?

Here’s my point: In our scan and skip world, in a world where technology makes it obvious that we can treat different people differently, how can we possibly justify teaching via a speech?

If you teach–teach anything–I think you need to start by acknowledging that there’s a need to sell your ideas emotionally. So you need to use whatever tools are available to you–an evocative powerpoint image, say, or a truly impassioned speech.

If it’s worth teaching, it’s worth teaching well. If it’s worth investing the time of 30 or 230 or 3330 people, then it’s worth investing the effort to actually figure out how to get the message across. School is broken. Legislative politics are broken. Linear is broken. YouTube and Bloglines, on the other hand, are new platforms, platforms that enable the education of millions of people every day, quickly and for free.

I’ve thought about that a lot as I sit in chapel everyday. I think to myself, “Is preaching (AKA: talking at people) the best way to spread the message?” I often ask myself how often people sit in a room to listen to one person talk. I mean, in everyday life. Sure, we go to school. We attend conferences. But most of the time, we are educated with things other than just one person talking. I’m convinced that good teachers include other things in their classes. I’m convinced that good pastors should, too.