Is technology killing the teacher?

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This post has 34 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 1523
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 5:28 AM

William Bingham:

Joshua Garcia:
It has become easy (and affordable) for the average Joe to collect and successfully utilize resources once only reserved for professionals. We are able to quickly find answers to almost any question within seconds thanks to the internet and software like Logos.

 

Joshua,

I wanted to make a quick comment here.  In someways I agree with you but in others I see teachers being more called upon.  I am coming at this from a different area of subject matter.  It might be one thing to pick up and read a theology text and compare it with others.  But consider a math or science textbook and/or teacher.  I will commend you on the ability to pick up a book and be able to read and interpret correctly.  It takes real skill to be able to do that. 

 

To be honest, I was just throwing out the idea to see what others thought. I hadn't yet formed a solid opinion on the matter. I came up with the thought because as a future teacher I had this fear of being replaced with technology. On the same line of thought, but from a different approach...I've seen a lot of satellite campus churches pop up in my city and all they do is play a prerecorded sermon to people on a large screen. I don't understand why it is becoming popular. But instead of each campus having their own teaching pastor, there is only one teaching pastor across town. Also, I've seen people skip out on church because they can view their favorite mainstream popular minister on the internet through podcasts. Now, I enjoy watching these too, but that is NOT church! None of this was possible 50 years ago.

 

 

 

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 5:52 AM

Joshua Garcia:
On the same line of thought, but from a different approach...I've seen a lot of satellite campus churches pop up in my city and all they do is play a prerecorded sermon to people on a large screen. I don't understand why it is becoming popular.

I've been contemplating this also, some ideas:

  • The desire to be part of the "Big" thing.
  • The desire to be under the tutelage of a celebrity (even if it is only on a screen).
  • The ability to get in and out of church with no, or very little accountability.
  • Instead of being forced to have a personal relationship with a Pastor you may not like on a social level, you get to "pick" the Elder, or Associate Pastor you like.
  • Entertainment

Just some ideas...

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 128
Derek | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 6:26 AM

Please no one bite my head off, I've had some bad experiences so far in these forums.. ;)

You say that is not church... well I have a growing feeling myself that piling 2000-3000 people into one building to hear someone like me preach is not necessarily a good example of church either.  Let me explain where I am coming from... Comparing to Paul's one-another-ing and all the "everyone has a gift" a teaching, a word, a psalm, etc.... my growing feeling is that our version of church is possibly very different than what Paul had in mind.  I read stuff like Barna, and I like his thoughts, but I don't like the tone of his message - seems harsh towards the church...  I am seriously thinking of starting over - experimenting with some different forms that don't rely on piling large groups of people into buildings...  I am not sure that the way we've done small groups answers the question fully either. 

So much energy has been spent - and so many dollars as well, for us to attract people to our buildings.  I feel more and more people being turned off by this.  And I see mature believers leaving these growing campuses for new forms of house churches and other new forms...  But I also some leaving completely, just turned off at the "massive organization" they think the church has become...

I may embrace technology, but only to where it enhances what I see Paul wanting to accomplish through the church, as I see him doing through the church in Ephesus.  His work there - and in two years - all of Asia heard the gospel.  Some accounts say 80,000 believers by the end of the first century...   Wow, imagine if we could do something with our cities if we could see 80,000 new converts in some of Americas cities... 

I don't think there was only one way that Paul did church - it seems that there were several forms that existed, where there were synagogues, and were there weren’t… It didn't seem dependent on buildings - though occassionally he probably used community centers or the synagogues...

The longer I am helping lead the church, and the longer I am training other new pastors, the more I feel that I am just missing the mark.  Paul talked about training and releasing leaders, and leaders in Ephesians 4 were there to release the gifts in others - not just leaders, but that they were to release the gifts in all of God's people.  I can't say that my preaching does that - my best sermons are forgotten by monday morning.  My best teaching lasts but a day or so... At best they remember a clever story... .... 

So I think, If I were to focus on releasing gifts in all of God's people as my primary objective, how would I go about doing that?  If I were to seriously try to create a group of true disciples who, at their core were doing what God called them to do, whether at work, at home or while they were out shopping... I might not start with the desire to build another large building and a huge campus...  That may not even play into the equation...

Teaching is necessary for instruction, but my experience is that it mainly affects a certain kind of learner... and many others are bored with this kind of church...  Many who are possible converts leave because they think listening to "lectures" is boring...  I tend to think that these people are reachable,  but if we weren't tied to some of our methods that we hold most dear... could we still do a "valid" church, while taking on radically different forms, that could have better results, deeper disciples, and reaching some of these hard to reach people that otherwise say they don't want to go to church?

I know that in the end, the large campuses are able to offer things that other forms cant - and I can't help but wonder if we will have a variety of different forms of church - reaching radically different types of people, but still clinging to the same essentials of the faith?

So... Anyway, trying to figure out where all these haunting thoughts are leading me to...  And I know it is not with the tide of where things are going these days...  Still... Is it just me being restless, or is it the Spirit of God trying to edge me onto something new?

Please no criticism or "Attack Bible Exegesis".  Only that which is to build up the body and encourage...

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 6:55 AM

I find this discussion fascinating. I won't get into the emerging discussion about ecclessiology except to suggest that an appropriate response to the question of "what is a church?" is to scour the scriptures for what it says a church is and does and then evaluate any particular body on those criteria. Logos can be quite helpful for such a search.

Technology can obscure the need for a teacher but can increase the need for it. I can go to my library (whether digital or not) open up two commentarries on a particular passage and find something like this.

Conclusion B is clearly wrong. Those who hold it haven't thought the issue through properly. Instead, conclusion A is to be favored for Reasons 1, 2, and 3.

and in the next resource

Conclusion A is clearly wrong. Those who hold it haven't thought the issue through properly. Instead, conclusion B is to be favored for Reasons 1, 2, and 3.

And sometimes one of the reasons for the differing conclusions is the same! Thus one must weigh evidence; this is best learned from a skilled teacher demonstrating the questioning skills, evaluating evidence, and interpreting texts.

Give identical Logos libraries to someone who had not been taught and someone who has had excellent teachers and I guarantee that the latter will be able to produce much higher quality study all other things being equal.

Posts 273
Brad Fry | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 6:56 AM

Joshua wrote, Shane Hipps probably would have had a different opinion if he was still running a 28.8k modem. Cool

Now that's funny

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 7:48 AM

Chinarunner, I happen to agree with what you have said, for the most part I think Paul would be shocked at what we call church.  The body gathered together should be a place where many believers are using their gifts, not just a few and the purpose should be to build every member up in Christ, we should see major growth in our faith in Christ, we should see believers becoming mature in Christ, not people involved in programs and centered on what "church" I go to.

God has forced me to change my idea concerning what church is and should be over the years, and as a teaching elder I am so thankful for how things have changed, I have gone from being a youth pastor with over 150 kids in the youth group and a few of us believers preaching to them, to being a teaching elder with myself learning as much from the rest of the body when we gather as they learn from me. 

I have gone from group centered, to Christ centered in our meetings.  Not as much talking about how great we are and what we can do for Christ as a church and more time on let's look at what Christ has done and give Him praise for His works!

Your brother in Christ,

Jim VanSchoonhoven

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 8:32 AM

Joshua Garcia:

As technology advances and information becomes more readily available will the need for teachers decrease? It has become easy (and affordable) for the average Joe to collect and successfully utilize resources once only reserved for professionals. We are able to quickly find answers to almost any question within seconds thanks to the internet and software like Logos. I am currently in Bible college. In class I hardly have to ask my teachers questions because it is easier for me to click a couple times and have 16 relevant resources open.

 

 

I (fondly) remember one of my seminary professors who simply called our attention to two different passages then asked "What do you think about that."  Sometimes the instructor simply calls your attention to things then gets you to consider them.  Computers don't do that.  It is teaching how to think not "here are the facts (1) ... (2) ... (3)

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 401
Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 8:55 AM

Mark Barnes:

If you're wanting to learn how to ask questions of the Bible, I know of no better resource than Grasping God's Word, currently available on pre-pub (though unfortunately only as part of a small bundle).

I teach an introductory class at seminary, and I always suggest students ask the following question during most stages of their exegesis:

  • What would I like to know that I don't know?

We loop through a text several times, building on our knowledge each time. So we'll look at a text 'raw' several times, then ask the above question. Just off the top of my head, let's imagine the text is John 3:16 (though we'd normally be covering several verses at least). On the first time through the passage, we might ask the question: 'what does Jesus mean by "world" in this context?'. That gives a further list of questions: "What's the Greek word used?"; "What does that Greek word mean?", "How is it used in the surrounding context?", "How is that Greek word used elsewhere in John?". So we'd be using lexicons and search to find out that information. Once we've answered the question, the information we've gathered should enhance/change our understanding of the passage. So we loop through again, utilising that new information. We ask out main question again "What would I like to know…". We might answer this time: "I'd like to know what the theological implications of God loving the whole world are?". Once we've answered that question, other questions might then arise. And so the process continues, until either (a) we run out of time, or (b) we can't think of any more things we'd like to know that we don't know.

So I guess a good question is:

  1. One you don't already know the answer to.
  2. One where the answer is likely to make a genuine difference to your appreciation of a text or topic.

Thanks Mark for the reply and the always good help we all get from you. Yes its learning how to ask the right questions about the bible and the bundle looks great and it’s something wll I purchase.

Again Mark thanks for your interest in all of our post and questions we ask

 

Posts 10888
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 3:21 PM

Joshua Garcia:
As technology advances and information becomes more readily available will the need for teachers decrease?

I remember hearing a sermon and commenting, "Bible study software can become a terrible thing." That preacher had accumulated a multitude of verses that were loosely connected by a single word, and he had constructed one of the most horrible sermons I have ever heard.

We live in an age of information overload, but much of that information is erroneous. In spite of the availability of technology and information, the world continually becomes more physically dangerous and spiritually degenerate.

The availability of vast storehouses of information is not a substitute for learning to study Scripture. 

Posts 1523
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 4:10 PM

George Somsel:

I (fondly) remember one of my seminary professors who simply called our attention to two different passages then asked "What do you think about that."  Sometimes the instructor simply calls your attention to things then gets you to consider them.  Computers don't do that.  It is teaching how to think not "here are the facts (1) ... (2) ... (3)

 

Just wait...I can see computers doing just that in less than 15 years. The trend with online college and schooling will generate such advances surely. Seems like the online professors are only needed for grading things computers can't, like essays.

 

Posts 19579
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 1 2010 9:22 PM

Wow, some excellent thoughts there, ChinaRunner!

I agree that the way we "do church" is sometimes not hitting the mark with today's earnest seekers. They see all the glitz of the big megachurches and are turned off by it, by the sensationality of it, the superficiality of it, the showmanship of the pastors, the shallowness and fakeness of the congregants, the contraction between Jesus' call to care for the poor and the amount of money spent on fancy buildings, etc. I hate to say it, but I think for the pastors of such churches it is also more dangerous: they are less likely to have a committed group of fellow believers around them who can tell them the truth and hold them accountable. If they are popular powerful preachers, their congregations put them on a pedestal. They become untouchable and thus when they struggle with temptations (which we all do), they have to hide it from those around them; when they finally fall, as they will eventually under such conditions, they do so with great shockwaves in their communities. This only adds more to the disillusionment that those outside the church have with the institutional church.

I'm taking a course right now on the history of the Christian pastor. Last night the pastor we studied was Charles Haddon Spurgeon. One of the emphases that I was most struck by was the way he trained pastors/preachers. Our teacher pointed out that nowadays with church planting we tend to start out with a place that we feel needs a church, we gather group of people, and then need to find a pastor/preacher to teach them, whereas Spurgeon started by training up pastors/teachers and then around them a group of disciples would form.

Another thing that struck me in your post was about releasing the gifts in all of God's people not just the leaders. Amen to that! Our big churches today have such a strongly engrained culture of clergy vs. laity. I don't think it was so divided back in Paul's day. Yes there are those who are called to be leaders, evangelists, teachers, apostles, etc. But the whole people of God is to be equipped to use their gifts for the building up of the kingdom. R. Paul Stevens is someone who has written quite a bit on this topic, and it would be great to see some of his books in Logos:

I agree that there will need to be a variety of different forms of church, and it has been happening already. I'm aware of house churches, networks of smaller groups of people growing in or towards faith through spiritual formation / discipleship, non-traditional Christian communities that are practicing living out the gospel and drawing inquirers by their life witness, etc. Just as different individuals have different gifts, I believe that different churches may be more gifted for one or another form of fellowship and ministry in the world around them. The task is to find that unique calling for a particular group of believers and go after it with passion and the love of Christ.

Posts 2961
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 4 2010 5:18 PM

Derek Replied: Wed Dec 1, 2010 6:26 AM Please no one bite my head off, I've had some bad experiences so far in these forums.. ;)

1>>> CHOOP CHOOP – whoops – sorry I did not see the NO Smile

my best sermons are forgotten by Monday morning. My best teaching lasts but a day or so...

2>>> Don’t be so sure that it is forgotten so quickly – Sometimes the results are not seen for years. Here a little there a little. It will build up. And the sprit works in mysterious ways. Maybe most that hear you are getting just what they want – the RIGHT to say that they went to church. But if your calling is true there ARE some that you are reaching.

Please no criticism or "Attack Bible Exegesis". Only that which is to build up the body and encourage...

3>>> If after my statement number 2 you are still upset by my statement number 1 I am sorry – my attempt at being funny went sour. [some long forgotten sermon told me to tell one that I had upset to at least tell them that I was sorry that they were upset [I.e. we do remember]]

4>>> THIS IS ON TOPIC – trying to cheer up a fellow forum poster is within the rules [or should be]

Posts 1875
Alan Macgregor | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 5 2010 1:16 AM

Kevin Becker:
an appropriate response to the question of "what is a church?" is to scour the scriptures for what it says a church is and does and then evaluate any particular body on those criteria. Logos can be quite helpful for such a search.

I recently moved to minister to a new church. I prayerfully decided that it would a good idea to begin my ministry with my people with an exploration of what church is, so we have started a series working through Ephesians. Logos has been wonderful in doing the detailed exegesis which I need for background in sermon preparation. I couldn't do it nearly so efficiently without Logos.

Just my tuppence (two cents) worth.

Every blessing

Alan

BTW I love the way this thread is not just bifurcating but "trifurcating".

iMac Retina 5K, 27": 3.6GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9; 16GB RAM;MacOS 10.15.5; 1TB SSD; Logos 8

MacBook Air 13.3": 1.8GHz; 4GB RAM; MacOS 10.13.6; 256GB SSD; Logos 8

iPad Pro 32GB WiFi iOS 13.5.1

iPhone 8+ 64GB iOS 13.5.1

Posts 134
jwsheets | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 5 2010 6:33 PM

I work with minsters, ministries, churches and schools setting them up so that they can do live internet presentations, webinars (live and prerecorded), etc. I do weekly live webinars where people can watch, hear and interact in real time. So my audience is broader and more diversified. I am now ministering to people trans-locally and world-wide. Technology has opened up many doors of opportunities to broadened the number of people I can reach and how they are reached. However, as excited as I am about the prospects technology affords, it will never replace live interaction and ministry. It is a great tool, but it is just that, a great tool. Technology can't replace Spirit-anointed ministry, it is just a platform, one of many, that allows us who teach and minister the Word of God - another avenue to do what we do.  

Posts 746
JH | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 6 2010 10:55 AM

I found this article interesting and related to the discussion here.

"Lost Arts of Teaching": http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/06/02/nisod

 

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