Theoretical Skin

[Exploring the Paradigm Shift: From Theory/Information Transferal TO Application/Life on Life Transformation]

Have you ever been at lunch on a Sunday after church and someone asks you what the sermon was about, and your response goes something like: HmmI think it was something to do with grace?

Studies (1) have shown that people retain:

90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.

Additionally, according to Dr. Malcom Knowles, Adults do not need so much to be taught as to have someone facilitate their self-learning, [leading] them able to learn in their own way. (2)

So, it makes sense why we tend to forget most of what we hear during a Sunday morning sermon. Facilitated, self-learning is vital for knowledge retention. Sounds a lot like what Jesus has commanded us to do when it comes to making disciples. Furthermore, in terms of disciplemaking, knowledge retention is not the end goal, but rather, knowledge retention that leads to transformation and replication into others lives.

If the aim of going to church is life transformation, then listening to a sermon a week is not going to cut it. If our church attendance leaves us feeling satisfied with our lives, we have missed the fact that God is holy and our only hope for becoming like Him is Jesus; this implies intentional, ongoing, life-change. While attending church and listening to sermons can definitely enhance our spiritual journey, church attendance in itself is not sufficient if we want to see more authenticity more Jesus incarnate more transformation.

Our main source of Jesus-learning, besides personal quiet times, needs to be life-on-life with other believers. Instead of informing others about Jesus, let us strive to model Jesus in the flesh to be Jesus with skin-on.
If we look at Jesus example, we see time and again not only did he teach in the synagogues and temples, but he also spent significant amounts of time with people. Jesus 12 disciples were a group of men he invested in on a daily basis. His inner circle Peter, James, and John were three of the 12 that he chose to go even deeper with. Jesus spent time with a few in order to impact many.

If we take a look at Jesus encounter with Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10, we can conclude that someone like Zacchaeus would have never given back the money to people he stole from, had Jesus not personally asked to come into his home.

For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. Luke 19:10

If this was Jesus attitude towards sinners, we cannot pretend that simply preaching and teaching is enough. Zacchaeus was most likely not someone who would have been seen at Jesus synagogue teachings, and like Zacchaeus, we can all name people who we also will not see in church, but who desperately need the love and transformation of Jesus Christ in their lives.

Mark 3:14 further develops this idea where Mark says that Jesus appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out

Let us be theoretical skin people living out the Gospel, unafraid of who we are seen with, and selflessly giving of our time to be with those we disciple in the Kingdom.

 (1) Says, I., Says, M. P., Says, M., Says, P. L., Says, S. D., Says, A., . . . Says, C. S. (2015, August 12). How To Retain 90% Of Everything You Learn. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from
 (2) Knowles, M. S., Swanson, R. A., & Holton, E. F. (1998). The Adult Learner. the Definitive Classic in Adult Education and HumanResource Development. Fifth Edition. Gulf Publishing Company.