Opinion | Pop Culture

Flipping the 40-Minute Sermon

Should church teaching evolve in the digital age?
Flipping the 40-Minute Sermon
Image: Allstarsyouth / Flickr

A new trend in academia encourages educators to focus less on lecture and more on active learning within the classroom environment.

"The danger with lucid lectures…is that they create the illusion of teaching for teachers, and the illusion of learning for learners," explained Eric Mazur, a professor and pioneer for this educational model, in Harvard Magazine. "Sitting passively and taking notes is just not a way of learning. Yet lectures are 99 percent of how we teach!"

As I discussed Mazur's approach with my family of public educators, my thoughts went from public school classrooms to the church. Mazur advocates directed conversation in the classroom between students, debate, dialogue, and active listening, and he sees higher levels of success and engagement as a result. Could so-called reverse lectures and flip teaching change the way we approach the traditional Sunday church service?

Think of what a typical church gathering looks like. During the teaching portion, we ...

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