I love what author Laurie Beth Jones has to say about presentation. I’ve used some of her comments and mixed them with mine in this article.
“Jesus knew the power of presentation. He told stories. He had meaningful, two way dialogue and interaction with people. He did miracles. He healed on the Sabbath. He brought in props from the audience, like the bread and the fish. He used object lessons derived from seeds and sunsets. He, on one occasion, even turned over money changers tables in the temple. He rode into towns on donkeys when it should have been on a white horse. He turned water into wine at weddings. Jesus was never boring! He connected the message with the audience.
The point I’m making is that you couldn’t be around Jesus and be the same. He entered your world. He did things that transcended your personal barriers. He rewrote on people’s lives and minds whole new sets of ideas and values that the religious elite of that time had institutionalized and set in stone. When Jesus came in the door, monotony and the mundane went out the door.
The Bible addresses this issue in Matthew 7:28 and 29. “The result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes wereamazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”
Jesus rocked their world.
Talk about ‘give em the old razzle dazzle!’ But, His methodology was for more than entertainment, it was for redemption and transformation. He was taking them somewhere, higher and better, to a destiny and life that has unlimited possibilities. He knew how to have a two way dialogue with His audience, not like the ‘one way, listen to me, do as I say, not as I do’ approach of the scribes. He realized that He must first enter a person’s world before He could change their world.
The director of development for Warner Brothers said the following about the communication style of many churches.
“They yell at us for not turning out movies that teach spirituality, and in many cases, it’s true. But they don’t seem to hear us when we say, ‘You cannot effectively teach people unless you entertain them. Putting white men in business suits and having them stand behind the pulpit and pound the Bible is not entertainment. You can’t turn people on if they want to turn you off.’”
Sounds like the scribes, huh?
Who has gotten boring here? Certainly, not God. Just look at the universe, animals like the Platypus or Hippopotamus, or just look at yourself in the mirror. That’s creativity, diversity and, well, entertainment. Jesus was an excellent teacher and an awesome presenter. Church, have we forgotten that? It’s going to take more than the one-dimensional, directive power point teaching style that dates the church quicker than my two sons and my son-in-law can eat a pizza. And, that’s quick!
Most of the fastest growing churches in the world today have learned what Jesus knew. It’s OK to be both and excellent teacher who is speaking the truth in love and a powerful presenter!
The highest value in mainline media is this. If it’s presented excellently, it’s true. If it’s not presented excellently, it’s false. For many years, faith based presentations, movies, videos and music have been second class. As a result, mainline media has been able to disdain the faith based message because it was not ‘excellent.’
Things have changed.
Faith based media in many cases is equal if not better than mainline media. The music, the movies, and church speaking. There’s nothing wrong with being relevant if it is redemptive and truthful.
Thank goodness for some of the great movies being released in the Christian world at this time. Take Pure Flix for example. They have produced movies like God’s Not Dead and Woodland. Top writers, top Hollywood actors and first tier quality movie production that is as good as Hollywood. And, the subject matter is second to none. Razzle, dazzle plus truth! Now that’s inspiring, not just entertaining.
Welcome to a bigger world, you’ve got mail!
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