Flip the classroom, flip the church

This page last updated February 7th, 2021
Flipping coin

In the past, schools and universities gathered people to a central location so they could access information from the “expert”. Lessons were given as lectures, and students were given extra work to do at home, by themselves, to extend their learning.

In an increasing number of classrooms around the world, this model is being turned on its head.

Today’s technology means that students can watch a pre-recorded lesson at home, when it suits them, and use the valuable class time to extend their learning through collaboration, discussion, and hands-on learning. The teacher stops being “the sage on the stage” and becomes “the guide on the side”. Students no longer have to flounder through hours of “homework” without access to support and role models. The “flipped classroom” is making the most of the time learners spend together in the same room.

Can you imagine the potential this model has for the church worldwide?!!

Most churches spend the bulk of their financial resources on mortgages and salaries. When God’s people gather each Sunday, they spend the majority of their time together sitting in rows and listening to a monologue, instead of looking each other in the eye, sharing their lives and stories, and ministering to one another.

What if someone started up a kind of TED Talks / Khan Academy venture for churches; where gifted communicators condense big ideas into short soundbites; where well-resourced churches used their creative departments to produce engaging video presentations; where we can build up a free resource of high quality, easy-to-understand talks to replace sermons?

Imagine the implications!

– People could watch the “sermon” at home to get them thinking, then use their gathered time to learn and explore ideas at a far deeper level.

– Leaders could become facilitators, using their communication abilities to listen to and empower others, rather than doing all the talking.

– God’s people could make the most of their time together, meeting face-to-face to impact one another.

– Meeting together would be more likely to inspire real change, real action, and real community.

– New churches wouldn’t need to put all their money into hiring professionals and buying venues.

– The world would have access to thought-provoking, life-giving messages about Jesus and His ways.

Can you think of any other advantages (or potential disadvantages) to flipping churches?

This page, originally posted in July 2013, is recovered from the now defunct Church in a Circle blog, and re-published by permission, because I think the material is valuable.

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