Monday, September 12, 2011

Using Technology Better...

A passing conversation pointed out that the WELS was streaming video of a Bible study on the book of  Revelation into the local congregation from their Seminary in, well, Wisconsin.  The point was made, "Why don't we do that?"  Well, why don't we?  We certainly have the technology.  We have great teachers at both Seminaries?  We have seen how effective use of video has been used with relative ease on the various web sites of our Synod, Synodical President, and his staff.  We have the availability to use either streaming video or podcasts in nearly every congregation of Synod.  Why not?

I would like to offer a series on the liturgy taught by Dr. Art Just or a webinar on Matthew by Dr. David Scaer or something on Tennessee Lutheran history by Dr. Larry Rast or the Church's Song by Dr. Richard Resch or, well, I could think of a thousand different topics that would benefit from a streaming video Bible study or a podcast.  I am sure that many of those folks already have presentations prepared -- used at Pastoral Conferences or other similar settings.  Why not adopt them to larger use?

I have had lay folks come to me with hesitations about lay led Bible studies in which no solid answers were available.  They wanted to hear from those who could say with confidence that this is it means or with a thorough knowledge of the setting describe what was going on within the people of God when the Word of the Lord came to them through the prophet.  I know what they mean.  We have good tools -- The Lutheran Study Bible -- but these tools are ever more useful when well-prepared and effective teaches lead us.

Our Synod pioneered the use of new technology --  The Lutheran Hour and the radio, This is The Life and TV -- why are we not using the technology more effectively today?  I am amazed at the little videos Al Colver creates using his I-Phone.  I love the short videos from the President's Office.  Lets see how we can make the new media into effective tools for teaching and reaching the people in the pews.  This does not have to replace locally led Bible studies but it can enhance the resources of even the smallest parish so that we do not have to put up with the less than accurate and faithful resources our people are looking for and getting elsewhere.

I am offering this idea to my friends at both Seminaries.  We have the technology.  We have the teachers.  We can do it.  What do YOU think?


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Because ultimately, it is impersonal. The profs at the seminary aren't called to teach my congregation - I am. If this is viewed as a tool, if it is designed to be something where there's a segment and then I expand, teach, and discuss with my people and their specific concerns -- okay. But if it is just a matter of we watch TV for our Bible Study... how does that relate to *my* people.

Of course, I generally don't even like using pre-written bible studies... half the time they ask questions that aren't the questions my people have.

Andy said...

Having once been to a sermon delivered over TV because the Pastor was out of town that weekend, yeah, it is quite impersonal. If someone wants to learn about seminary topics, then have them subscribe to itunes university at home. Otherwise, the Pastor should be leading Bible Study - or at least overseeing the study - after all he is the one responsible for the congregation's spiritual well being - not some professor in St. Louis or Fort Wayne.

Philip Hoppe said...

Isn the Kansas District, we are doing exactly what you suggest. A promotion for our latest offering can be viewed here:
Reed Lessing on Isaiah. Contact us if others need help arranging stuff like this.

For those who are saying no because only they can teach their people, why do you associate yourself with the Synod at all then? I would be glad to have more solid Lutheran teaching resources not as a replacement for my time with my people, but as a supplement. Else when they are away, they end up listening to to some protestant preacher who demeans the sacramental grace we teach.

Anonymous said...

Rev. E.J. Brown nailed it. There is
no excuse for a pastor not to lead
the Sunday morning Adult Bible Class.
Lay-led Bible study becomes a time
for sharing of "pooled ignorance".
Throwing a DVD into the TV makes
the class passive and dependent on
professors who can not answer their
questions. If people want to watch
TV they can stay home, and if they
want lay-led Bible study let them
meet in homes during the week.

Anonymous said...

Philip Hoppe-
Your link appears to be malfunctioning. Would you please retype it?
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Oh for pete's sake... grow up folks. Who said this was to replace the pastor as Bible teacher? Could this not supplement the role of the pastor and could the pastor not lead such a study using this kind of resource? There are folks in our synod who are experts and scholars in ways that the local parish pastor can't be. So we just ignore that?