When I wrote my final paper for the ‘Methodist Preaching course’ I researched and wrote a paper that I think I called, “Is the way we teach in church the way we should teach in church?” That was twelve years ago but the issues are still the same. I remember one of my conclusions was, ‘we need to be more visual!’
leadership journal.jpgTwelve years on though the opportunities for being visual have increased ENORMOUSLY! The frustrating thing though is there is often a failure to engage with what this new opportunity means and how a very different media leads to a different communication experience. I read recently an article on Powerpoint, from a church perspective, that framed the arising question as “What do people want to look at while we are preaching?” rather than how we re-imagine what has previously been the sermon?
(This add-on thinking inevitably results in the death by Powerpoint nightmare that we are all too familiar with, no horror stories please!).
It was encouraging therefore to read Leadership Journal and explore what Andy Crouch has termed, ‘Visualcy!’ I realise that I may be behind the times on this one as digging around it seems to have been written about in May 2005, but I like ‘visualcy’ as a way off exploring the fact that being visual is not just using our usual torrent of words AND adding pictures, its a whole new skill set.
comm.jpgCrouch talks about a third age of communication. The first being oral communication. The second age being that of written communication, the transition to this age requiring, literacy. Crouch views this third age as visual and sees that visual culture will require a new set of skills, a visualcy!
I wonder how often we (I) think we are operating in a visual currency but are in fact adding pictures to the safety of our oral/written norm? This ‘post’ being a case in point 🙂

2 Replies to “Visualcy”

  1. Great post
    I was disappointed at Greenbelt this year by the workshops offered on Visual Worship – in the event it was presented by a theologically diminished youth worker geek (who was snotty about people still using OHPs – giggle giggle you not still using one of them)whereas the actual material was desperately poor way of presenting the words. I an others locally have begun to explore with visual artists how we might provide the visual equivalent of stained glass windows for our generation. I think we are searching for a mode of communication which is evocative and illustrative, rather than informational and didactic. Stained glass windows suggest a time when the Church knew how do to this but we have lost it.

  2. Tom,
    Thanks for calling in at the blog, chuffed to find you in this corner of the blogosphere 🙂
    Your question, what is the stained glass for this generation? is a fascinating one! You’ve sparked a whole new line of thought for me! (I may even post something if it ends up making sense)

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