I am expecting this blog will stir up conversation and ruffle feathers yet if you look around at church this coming weekend, I believe you'll realize I'm not as far off as you might think. Or who knows, maybe our little church is just catching up with the rest of America. I look forward to your comments below, this could be a great conversation.
Yesterday during church I had my composition notebook open and dated. I had my two Bibles marked with the Bible verses listed on the sermon notes so I could get to them quickly. With pens, sticky notes, and my mini office at my side...I was ready for Pastor Dan's message. What does all this NON-technological prep have to do with the changing church? Simple, I only used one of my Bibles, one time.
Pastor Dan shared the "Palistrophe Outline" to us. It was SO interesting. I took copious notes but still wanted to know more. Why did he introduce the congregation to this form of outlining? To show us a new, yet old, way of reading our Bibles. This first and foremost enhances the Bible reading experience as you look at what happens in the beginning of a chapter or book, then look at the end, and then find the middle. (This is my Readers Digest version, as I'm still learning) I included more information in case you are like me and want to know more.
For more information about the Palistrophe outline or the Chiastic structure:
It was this hunger to understand and learn more about the chiastic structure within the Bible and even some of the movies we watch today that caused me to pick up my Smartphone during church. At first I paused because "What will people think if I'm on my phone during church?" and then it dawned on me, it doesn't matter really - it's what God thinks of me.
With that, I opened the Internet to learn more about this structure. As I copied Pastor Dan's notes from the easel, I also read online. I took notes, book marked a page, and listened and read on this "structure" to enhance my Bible reading and understanding. I look forward to applying this new way of reading and studying the Bible in the near future. I'm still looking at the A,B,C set up and how it differs from a typical outline I'm used to but I'm up for the challenge.
As Pastor Dan took us to a different examples in the Bible to model how this works, instead of picking up one of the two Bibles sitting next to me...I opened my "Bible App" on my phone and was there in seconds. Then I heard the little voice in my head again saying, "I shouldn't be on my phone." but then I looked up and around. My daughter was sitting next to me taking notes on pastor's message using the "Note Pad" on her Smartphone. A woman in front of me was using her Kindle to look up and follow the Bible readings. Someone behind me had her Kindle on with the Bible open too.
Church has changed folks, rather than worry what others think, or worse yet...judge. We need to open our minds to the possibility that just because someone is "on" or "using" their phone during the church service, doesn't mean they aren't following along with the pastor's message or on task. They might just be more on task than you, or me.
I share this because I know I too could admit I thought "how dare he or she" at some point in my life but I may have been wrong. I don't know what someone is doing on their phone, Kindle, or electronic device during church - who knows, maybe they were so in tune to the message and I missed it because I was watching them.
Some will say I was wrong to research about the palistrophe outline and chiastic method right then and there yet my curiosity was peaked. I'm all for learning how I can read the Bible to learn all I can, and understand more of what is happening so I can apply it to life. I'm thankful for all I learned - while taking notes in my composition notebook, using different colored pens, and highlighters - I researched and followed along with Bible readings using my Smartphone.
Let's get some conversation going now...
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323