Some years ago, I made an experiment in audio-visuals which opened my eyes to a technique that can make the church school a far more effective link in the church’s program. When I moved to Sherman Oaks, California, the nearest Episcopal Church was six miles away; so, with the consent of my bishop, I undertook to start a Sunday School in my home. My use of audio visuals in teaching unfolded for me a vast new world of possibilities for presenting Bible truth in a way that actually makes teaching a pleasure. The boys and girls responded eagerly to “picture teaching.” Indeed, one Sunday morning a prominent composer and conductor asked me what we were doing to make his children want to go to our Church School rather than to Palm Springs for the week-end. My small effort, which started with five children, grew steadily until a mission was established and that mission has become one of the strong parishes in the diocese.
A VISUALLY DOMINATED CULTURE
Out of the experience came a conviction that Christian education had to face realistically the fact that the modern church exists in a visually dominated culture. The motion picture, radio, and television have brought about a veritable revolution in communication.
“Today an average two-year old child has seen more places than his grandfather saw in his whole lifetime,” says Howard E. Tower in Religious Education (Abingdon, 1960). “The same grandfather made up his vocabulary meanings in relation to the word spoken by someone in relationship to the real thing in experience, supplemented by words read in the reader and later the newspaper, magazine, and classic literature. Now the two-year-old grandson sees visual images on the television screen to which meanings are attached which are often ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more