Nothing like a few days at the beach and a new book to give me a new thing to try and practice with my families and others looking for new platforms to love folks to Jesus. The new book by John Roberto, Lifelong Faith: Formation for All Ages and Generations, had me reading from the middle of the book, watching YouTube videos from LifelongFaith.com, and diving into search engines like a treasure hunter about playlists.
Playlists are curated menus and plans to dive deeper into a topic, a church season, or even a book of the Bible. According to Kathy Pittenger who provides the video teaching at LifeLongFaith.com and additional resources within the book, a playlist is a digital space for curating content for multiple intelligences and various learning styles. A playlist provides a sequence of activities and resources for self-led, on-demand instruction.
The first thing Jesus provided to His disciples after He called them to follow Him was teaching. Teaching is included in our marching orders with the Great Commission. Adapting to how our families learn today mean we can add to our toolbox multiple platforms for teaching in addition to the in-person class.
What does ‘teaching’ look like today? I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve watched many a YouTube video to learn how to fix a leaky faucet, what to wear with a white blazer, and how to make bread with only three ingredients. Curating the best information in one place about a topic, ritual, or holy habit is exactly what a playlist provides with actionable links to learn more.
Where to start? If you’ve used a bitmoji classroom over the last few years, you already have a familiar platform to use and start with. Playlists can hold articles, music, blogs, sermons, podcasts, stories, books, videos, photos, wondering/huddle questions, discussion prompts, etc. depending on your audience.
The first Sunday in October my local church will celebrate World Communion Sunday. What is it? How do we celebrate? Why do we celebrate? Is it important? What makes this holy communion different? What makes this holy communion the same?
Our ministry offers a Bread & Juice Class to teach littles and a big-who-loves-them about holy communion each fall. Read more about that here. But what about everyone else? What about all the stuff we’ve forgotten?
I can now ‘set this table’ on social media and self-guided learning can take place well in preparation for this Sunday’s rituals.
Other info about playlists can be found at https://www.lifelongfaith.com/playlists.html and are well worth the time. Then choose a topic or season or ritual to begin providing your families with playlists they can use at home or as they go at their convenience. The building of playlists can happen on your own or in collaboration with others who serve a similar audience as you do. I’ll be using a closed Facebook group to do some collaborative curation because we’re better together and we share a familiar audience.
My next playlist? Advent with more of a menu look to include a few to-do items like reading a chapter of the Gospel of Luke each day through the month of December leading all the way to Christmas Eve. Our 2022 Advent theme is The Songs of Christmas. I’m already building a staff Spotify playlist of favorites to make the Advent playlist more personal to our home church.
“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” Proverbs 9:9