I have downloaded and been playing around with something called ipodder. It’s a program that lets you download all sorts audio content to an ipod or any other mp3 player. It’s very new, but has created a lot of buzz in the last few weeks. Anyone can create audio that others can download, and a lot of ‘podcasts’ have already burst on the scene.
This is one of the best representations of the new era we live in. It’s an era where literally anyone can have a voice and speak their mind to anyone around the world who is willing to listen. There is now a podcast that takes this to the ultimate extreme — OpenPodCast. Anyone can now call in to a number and record a message five minutes or less to be distributed to everyone who subscribes to the OpenPodCast channel.
We live in a different world. We live in a world where everyone wants to, and can, have a voice. How much longer can churches thrive that offer the ‘audience’ no opportunity to participate. People want to interact. They don’t want to just listen — they want to have their say as well. What does preaching need to look like in a world where people can participate everywhere they go?
I have a great passion for teaching Scripture with learned insight. I think in an era of opinions, more than ever, we must have a solid understanding of the original context and meaning of the Scriptures. In this new society, it can’t simply be a matter of everyone throwing out opinions about what a passage means to them. However, there is room for interaction, and the best of Bible teaching must include it. I envision a style of teaching where the context of a passage is laid out, and a group then wrestles together to see what that passage has to say about how life should be lived today. Preachers can’t be control freaks who know every word they are going to say anymore — we must be guides who tune in to what the Spirit is saying through a conversation with others.