Got an interesting tweet from Charles Harrison yesterday. It said simply “Len Sweet is onto something.” I asked for more info – what I already know of Len Sweet, if he is onto something, it is worth knowing.
At a training event at FUMC Richardson, Sweet set out some interesting comparisons between what we as Jesus’ followers have tended to be about and what we ought to be about.
I will likely discuss others later, but the one that has my head spinning right now (and since yesterday morning I’ve not been able to fully dislodge from my awareness) is
Image-Giver v. Wordsmith
I am, I would like to have thought, a wordsmith. I’m good with words. I craft them together carefully, mindful of many of the sources I’ve read, listened to, and watched over the past 30+ years. In the past decade or so, I have also been increasingly aware of the changes in my own thoughts and understandings.
But now I’ve got to work in other directions. Sweet wrote this recently, as posted on the United Methodist Portal:
Too often, he said, the church has clung to familiar ways of communicating that have worked well in the past—developing mission statements, perfecting documents and following parliamentary procedure.
Meanwhile, young people have moved on to more interactive faith communities where they connect through simultaneous use of digital images and sounds.
“Advertisers don’t spend billions to give you words—they give you images. Why are you not coming up with an image statement?” he asked church communicators….
Young people see spiritual content in a different way than past generations, he said. When he travels the lecture circuit now, young people often ask to meet with him ahead of time rather than sit through a prepared address. That’s because while information is so readily available online, what they lack is face-to-face time.
I still like that I’m good with words. Now, however, this isn’t good enough. I have to become more image-conscious in that I want to, even have to, find ways to use images, still and moving, that help communicate the things I beleive God has brought me to understand.
Charles Harrison blogs here.