1. What concrete examples do you have of what “active learning” actually means in practice, what it looks like?! We are so good at saying preaching needs to change, but where are the stories and examples of such changes actually happening? (Show don’t tell…!) I’m totally in agreement with what’s being said, by the way, but we need to see/hear the real lived examples of it!

  2. Hi, anonymous, thanks for visiting and taking an interest.
    There are plenty of example of active learning outside the church, but not so many in it. Outside we might list:
    almost all school education has elements
    business training
    sports coaching
    the internet
    dare I say it, Jesus and his disciples
    Inside the church, there are less examples, though Simple Church (or House Church) is generally this way, and home/cell groups sometimes are. I recommend these blogs:
    Simply Church
    Church in a circle
    Hope that helps.

  3. Love it! This will become my “go-to” article for a brief but thorough summary of the research. Thanks, Eric! 🙂

  4. Wow thanks for this article. I was just reflecting on the long service I just sat through this morning and I literally can’t recall any of it. I can remember the passage we read though. Sermons go in one ear and out the other, and we have a service that is mainly sermon focused. I just sit there and try to listen which lasts about 10 minutes until my mind starts to blank out. It is never practical in any way, but rather go slowly through book by book with lengthy reformed theological exposition on each passage. I dread church. Just being 100% honest.

  5. Hi momof2, I really feel for you. It is a travesty that you dread church, but full marks for being honest.
    The church you describe is a far cry from the Jesus of the gospels. He didn’t use lectures as a means of teaching much – he used parables, short pithy (and memorable) sayings, observations on what was going on around him, teaching in the situation, and dialogue (question and answer, repartee, etc). He didn’t teach formal theology, but lived it out. And he taught his followers that following his teachings was the most important thing, not just knowing them.
    But churches and ministers have a lot invested in the present system. It pays the bills, it makes them feel important (for both good and bad reasons) and it allows them to control things more, so nothing they think is untoward happens. But it often means we are all talk and no action, and it keeps the lay people dumbed down. Reformed churches are probably generally more like this than others, unfortunately.
    But what can you do? A young mother may not get much of a hearing in that environment (I’m sorry to say), you may not be able to leave and try to find somewhere better (if there is anywhere better) and you probably don’t want to leave your friends anyway.
    I can only encourage you to pray for a spiritual companion you can share honestly with (fellowship is one of the most important things when in your situation), pray for change (if the church is as far from the way of Jesus as it looks, no matter how godly the people are individually, then it must grieve God too) and look to find small ways to learn a different way (the internet can be your friend here).
    Please know I will be praying for you. You might be surprised at the number of “suffering” christians visit this blog and make a comment, and I try to pray for those who seem to need it. When we decide to follow Jesus we “set our hearts on pilgrimage”, and we have no intention of giving up. If we were suffering persecution we would pray all the more and God would sustain us. It is more than sad that we have to do something similar because the church is so dread-ful.
    Please keep in contact if it would assist.

  6. Small groups with a skilled facilitator. Sharing testimonies, asking questions, arguing sometimes, learning together. This is what the early church did too, before sermon-centric services took over.

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