Tuesday, October 07, 2003


I’m beginning to think that the single most important criterion for relevance is struggle. The best teacher is a learner. And maybe even one who stays but a few steps ahead of his students. For it is only in learning that a teacher can know why the material is relevant to the learner.

Most of us struggle. Problem is, we’ve always avoided talking about or teaching from our struggles. We’ve dared not to address questions for which we’ve not yet found the answers. Instead, we choose safe topics with which we’ve never struggled or have long since conquered, so that we have no idea of the problem or have forgotten the severity.

The emerging culture will no longer put up with self-help books written by self-help book writers, or generic how-to sermons written by generic how-to sermon writers. The emerging culture will not listen to someone who plugs himself in as an illustration of someone else’s second hand insight. This culture says show me what you’ve learned from your own struggles and I might gain some insight into mine. You want to know how to seem irrelevant to me? Cause me to feel that you have no insight into my struggles, strengths, weaknesses; that you’ve just chosen what direction you will lead me with no knowledge of where I’ve been or where I was headed before you came along. I’ll feel that what you have to say is equally inapplicable to all of us and we’ll probably all look elsewhere to have our questions heard.

© 2003 rod lewis