Zoom, Zoom

video conferencing

Nearly 20 years ago, Mazda made commercials with the theme, “Zoom, Zoom!” (search YouTube). Now the word Zoom is solely related to one thing—video-conferencing technology of the day.

I have been in higher education for eleven years now. With that, I have been teaching through the use of video-conferencing tools for about five or six years. And I’ve also taught in all kinds of settings—traditional classroom, hybrid, online, live video, accelerated, full-semester. You name it. [Are there others?!] But what we are experiencing now during the Coronavirus pandemic is quite different, especially when it comes to video-conferencing and education. Continue reading

Moving Beyond Ideas to the Heart

PrintOver the past few years, I’ve really come to appreciate the work of Jamie Smith. One book in particular that’s caught my attention is Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation.

In particular, Smith looks at how our formation (or he uses the word education at times) is not ultimately about disseminating ideas, but rather shaping hearts and desires. It’s profound to consider this, really. Not just at the Christian university level, but also for the local church setting. In our teaching and preaching, are we primarily just communicating ideas or are we shaping deep desires. As he remarks, education (or formation) is really happening at all times. So how are we forming those in our care?

To give an example, Smith considers the role of the mall within our western culture. Consider how this institution shapes and forms not just the minds of people, but it’s hearts, desires, and even bodies. It is a full five-sensory formational experience, if we allow it to be.

What if Christians recalled that the five senses are good gifts from God and are available to help form us at our core?

For Christian leaders and educators, this is a book worth picking up. I’ve put some quotes below that come from the book. Hopefully you’ll see how Smith begins to flesh this out a bit more. Pretty intriguing stuff! Continue reading