Monday, April 2, 2012

How's your reading been "shaping up?"

Some new reminders that God enjoys using images to teach us truth.  When I think of the Garden of Eden for example, I think of the set on LOST; the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37 and I think of the heat visibly rising off the salt flats covered with dry baked bones.......What do you see when you picture the throne room in Isaiah 6, the handwriting on the wall in Daniel?

I also see lots of pictures in the definitions of words in the Bible.  Take the word persevere.  "Remaining under" like carrying a hundred pound ruck for 3 days, and instead of getting that rest you were hoping for someone just told you.....4 more hours......To get the full meaning of persevere, it helps to remember what it felt like to have those straps dig into your shoulders, have your arms go numb from the weight, and your legs wearing out to the point where you just focus on counting out one more step....... in the midst of that scenario, to then have the mental battle when just on the brink of some relief, instead of hitting that quick release button, you re-adjust your shoulders...."ruck it up" .....and keep counting out the steps.......that's my imagination at work.

      This past week I spent some time with some leaders who tweaked my imagination by using shapes to illustrate the basic truths of the Christian life.  A semi-circle (reminds me of a protractor) to illustrate the balance between rest and work, a circle to describe a small group meeting, a triangle to show how Jesus did ministry, a square to describe leadership development,  a pentagon to show the importance of using our gifts, a hexagon to explain the elements of prayer, and a 7 sided heptagon to teach the cycle of spiritual life.  Hmmmm.......interesting.

These methods flowed out of working among those who had no written language, a non-literate culture that operated not on the basis of words, but on the basis of images.  Apparently, these Brits have found a home among the American church, hungry for new ways to compete with a world dominated by an ever growing list of distractions.  The value of this approach is its transferability.  For example, in 10 minutes I can teach you the three components of Jesus life in a way that is clear, memorable, and easy to explain to someone else.

I am still processing all this, and there is a good chance I haven't got it all right just yet.......It is a new vocabulary, new methodology, new way of communicating.....but is seems to click with the younger thinkers in my ministry ......and if so.....I'm in.  But listen, don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself at

On the Bluewater Frontier,

Pastor Mike

No comments:

Post a Comment