Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Outsiders and Insiders
Having started another educational program recently at a local community college, it's taking me a wee bit of time and a lot more effort than I thought it would to get onboard. Thinking back, I realized that for the last 20 years of my life, I've been in school as much as I have been out of it, pursuing one degree or another. Each and every one has helped me grow as a person and as a pastor. But each of them has it's own barriers and "hoops" to jump through.
This particular program to certify teachers has a language all it's own that has to be learned in order to make any progress whatsoever in learning the skills you need. Here's just a sample of the terms I've learned in two weeks.
student learning objective (SLO)
Florida Educator Accomplished Practices
and many, many more.
I'm an outsider in the sense that if I don't know the terms used in educational textbooks and lectures, I cannot get to the truth of what they are telling me. Sure I can hear the words, but the meaning doesn't transfer just because I know them. I have to be able to use them correctly and in the proper context.
I totally get that.
Here at the church, we have a language too. Oh we are better at unpacking it than we used to be, but there are still times when I look out at the congregation after delivering some information and see a "huh?" expression on some people's faces. Anyone who teaches has to realize that people don't need any more barriers than they came in with. If the threshold is artificially high because of the language, then make the call - is the language worth it? Or is the truth so important that whatever we need to do to convey it - we should.
I vote for change. I vote to let people hear the compelling and convicting words of Jesus in a way that they can "hear" them. I vote to do everything we can to make sure that people hear those words as "good news" and that they hear them in time to make a difference.
What about you?