I was recently introduced to a website called “Church in a Circle,” and I want to point you to their latest post called “One simple trick every church can use to change passive listeners into active learners.”
There are many, many Christians who are beginning to recognize the importance of conversing (discussing) together as an addition to (or in some cases a replacement of) the sermon or monologue teaching. But, even though they recognize how helpful discussions (dialog) can be, they’re not sure how to implement it when they gather together, because they only have experience with listening to one person teach (preach).
The post (linked to above) offers several “tricks” to help believers move away from passive listening (i.e., only one person actively speaking) and toward the opportunity for many to actively speak and serve.
Now… here’s a little personal history…
The believers who we gather with regularly began as a very traditional and organized group with a weekly sermon. But, as we studied Scripture together, we saw the importance of dialog and discussion for mutual edification and maturity. (Everyone didn’t agree, of course, but that’s a different story.)
But, like I mentioned earlier, we didn’t know how to incorporate dialog into our gatherings. So, we started slowly with some of the suggestions mentioned in the post (linked to above). Today, instead of sitting in rows listening to one person teach, we sit in a circle and discuss Scripture and topics amongst one another, listening for how God would speak through any of us.
Each step we took in the process was a little scary… it was something new and different after all. And, we took a couple of missteps that we later corrected together. But, God was faithful, and as we moved closer and closer to the pattern that we find in Scripture, we noticed a huge different in relationship and maturity.
Now, sitting in circles does not suddenly cause everyone to want to edify each other. But, it does facilitate mutual edification.
So… take the next step.
Have you had any experience in moving away from one person speaking (monologue) and toward multiple people speaking (dialog or discussion)? Did you make the move all at once, or one step at a time?