Multimedia Bible Studies: Evaluation Criteria
The LCMS today faces the challenge of educating people in a post-modern and fast-changing society, where God is often not a part of the equation. The dilemma that appears is whether to stick with traditional forms of education, or develop education that changes along with society. In today’s visual society, many churches are using more video and audio solutions (McAuliffe, 2002). On the other hand, Lutherans are very well known for their tendency to stick with tradition and be slow to change. However, to some people the answer to this dilemma is easy. “The question for faith communities shouldn’t be whether to use the new technology, but how” (Andriacco, 2000, p. 107). If the LCMS chooses to use the technology that is ever-present in our society today, then the next issue becomes how to accomplish it in an effective manner. The LCMS maintains that faith grows most when time is spent in God’s Word. Therefore, it would seem like some form of a multimedia Bible study would be appropriate. Effective evaluation criteria for multimedia Bible studies in the LCMS’s ministry of Christian education in today’s society can be found by examining the media used in the history of the Church, the disadvantages and advantages of multimedia Bible studies, and the essential components of multimedia Bible studies.
Limitations and Definitions
This paper is focusing on several limitations when examining the question of evaluation criteria for multimedia Bible studies. The first is that is will focus on the doctrine of the LCMS. “The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., founded on the teachings of Martin Luther” (The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, n. d.). Within the LCMS, it will look at their ministry, or acts of service (Mueller, 2005). The specific act of service it will study is their ministry of Christian education. Christian education is rooted in the Gospel and emphasizes proclamation of the Word to people because of human sinfulness and the need for salvation, which is brought about by God’s Word and grace, not teaching strategies (Boys, 1989). Its most basic goal is teaching people about God and salvation through Jesus, all while trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit instead of the work of humans. Miller stated:
The clue to Christian education is the rediscovery of a relevant theology that will bridge the gap between content and method, providing the background and perspective of Christian truth by which the best methods and content will be used as tool to bring the learners into the right relationship with the living God who is reveal to us in Jesus Christ, using the guidance of parents and the fellowship of life in the church as the environment in which Christian nurture will talk place (as cited in Boys, 1989).
Christian education is largely a responsibility of parents, but also involves the whole...