A friend of mine, Rob Lamont made the following observation on Face Book this morning.
At Bible College nearly everything was measured in 3,000 word essays. In the real world no one asks for 3,000 word answers.
Most assignments were written – in the real world most answers are spoken…
I believe that there should be more room within the framework of Bible College for more oral presentations. While its true that modern Bible Colleges now train up a variety of students to enter into a variety of ministry and vocation positions: a vast number of those students are going to have a speaking / teaching / preaching role.
Personally I don’t like sermons that are in the format of a lecture. Nor do I find sermons inspiring when they are read, or the preacher tied to their notes. Sermons are meant to be preached. They are meant to be sources of life. And within the framework of teaching, I also find face to face teaching the most effective and I am glad to say that the majority of teachers I have had are good teachers. They make the lessons easy to understand and enjoyable.
If our colleges are going to take their mandate to raise up teachers, speakers, preachers seriously: more scope needs to be taken to ensure that those very same potential teachers, speakers and preachers can actually teach, speak and preach effectively as part of the overall training and equipping strategy of the college.
There are those who find it easy to craft a well written document. And there are those who struggle to craft the same document within the academic schema of writing. Within this same group, there are others who find speaking easy and others who don’t. Therefore I believe equal weight needs to be shown in evaluating and training students to write well and to also to verbally communicate and think well while on their feet.