Read this article from Seth Godin. Seth’s basic premise is that, as a communicator, you are not going be able to assume that everyone has seen everything. Yesterday when I spoke, I used a Seinfeld clip, and as we were watching it, I realized that not everyone has seen Seinfeld. With all of the choices that are available to people today, it’s very easy for someone to miss a cultural reference. I used a scene that didn’t really require any back story though, so it was ok.
But this article got me thinking along another route. Not everyone has read the Bible. When we teach the Bible we can’t assume that we are in a “christian” nation. The church, the Bible, our faith have all become just one more cultural option in our society. So as we communicate the Bible’s teachings we need to be very clear about what we are talking about, who the main players are. We can’t assume that People know that Timothy and Paul were great friends. We can’t assume that people understand that Jesus came after Moses. We need to work to be very clear and know that there is a possibility that over half our crowd have no idea what we are talking about.
As someone who likes to teach the Bible that’s exciting news to me. Because if over half the crowd on a Sunday morning has no idea what Philemon is about, then I get to teach them. And I get to see their faces light up with a small piece of Scripture makes sense to them. And I love that.