Unlike the countless teachers, professors, researchers, explainers and news junkies that have gone before us, our generation has immediate access to the top minds of our day. “Newness,” or “new(s),” are everywhere, and while the sheer amount of new(s) can be mind-numbing, I can’t help but smile at the thought of what we will do with the vast chaotic ocean of information churning just a few taps away.
My friend Dave Rinker and I are experimenting with a new form of church education. Think Sunday School on Adderall, but instead of Jesus we talk about earth, water, wind, sexual identity, biomimicry, hexeteuch, ancient ritual, linguistic structure, the geography of theology, and, of course, bees with brain-lasers. We use a giant whiteboard that doubles as a film screen, hold group discussions, make book and app recommendations, and, most excitingly, learn from everyone who attends. I have been having the time of my life. The question we want to ask with Godtalk is: what are the new(s)? What are the new discussions now, and what are the discussion we will face in the coming years? What will be our generation’s atomic bomb, or women’s lib? What list of new(s) is the world working through, and how can the church be a part of it?
Right now each class session is $5 with a hefty discount if you purchase all the sessions at once, or have attended one of the previous sessions. We discussed the sales model at length, and decided it was much like going to watch a musician friend play at a pub. If my good friends Lauren and Matt work hard to compose and shape a set of room-silencing songs (as they do with unbelievable ease), and then book a gig at a local bar, I would happily pay a $5 cover charge (plus Scotch) to watch them play. Dave and I compose too, we compose with the new(s), the vast chaotic ocean of information just a few taps away, inspired by the top minds of our day, and compelled to share what we learn with our local faith communities. While personally I would prefer to offer our classes for free, charging ups our game, because we want to give you your money’s worth. And if you are willing pay, it means that you value our hour of creative content, our set list of theological music, and value the hours of reading and researching and writing that compelled us to create the class in the first place.
The best part is that neither Dave or I get paid for this, the money goes to help people in the church. We do it because we love it, and to the beautiful people who have been bold enough to give this new church ed paradigm a chance, we love you too. It has been such a pleasure to embark with you, and your support and kind words have touched our hearts. Thank you.