Written vs. Oral Communication: an application

As I was saying last week, before I was so rudely interrupted by the weekend, I have my own personal little conflict between talking and writing. Talk is easier, but writing is more cogent, more permanent. I have lots of great ideas all the time, nice little five-minute blasts of controversy. When my life is peaceful, these things show up here, in print. But when things are all crazy, like they’ve been for the last six months (or so), writing things down just takes too much effort. I keep having great ideas, but you never hear about them. My poor wife hears them – over and over and over again – because seeing that I can’t expurgate them by writing, I keep talking until I’m done thinking about them.

For instance, last semester, I had a spiritual encounter that was a sort of culmination of a period of thought and study on the nature and purpose of the church. This was a Big Encounter, something on the level of the call I had to go to seminary. As I was in prayer, I turned to John 21:15-17, and read it as though I were Peter, and Jesus were telling me to “feed my sheep.” I heard in my mind the very strong command from God, “Build my church.”

If what I experienced before was a call merely to study, what I had last semester was proper call to ministry. Never before had I had a heart or vision for the church. Up till then it had all been “all for Jesus.” But now I have a vision for God’s community, and (I believe) a commission to help her achieve it.

My wife, and other people, were subject to a neverending barrage of discussion about the church last semester: about it’s call in the world, institution vs. community, Daniel 2, Matthew 18:18-20… I think somewhere in there I preached on the church to a nursing home, and led a home group Bible study on the church.

I might have brought it up while teaching Sunday School, or in youth group. I posted a few times on my thoughts in that direction, but I hardly got to share “the exciting conclusion.” In fact, what you’re looking at is probably it. I talked it out, and never finished the writing. The subject is vitally important to me, but it may be years now before I get back to putting it in print. I now have other, more immediate things that are plaguing me.

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