Faith Formation Through Images

Here’s the problem:

Our people aren’t reading the Bible. It’s difficult to live a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ when we can’t engage the primary source of the story and ongoing power of our Christian faith. Part of the problem is the way the church approaches Scripture through words only. The words of Scripture should absolutely create pathways for the ideas and practices of the Christian faith that will orient, shape and change people’s lives. But can words alone do that? Can words alone do that today? Yet, we also believe that God’s Word is alive, and that Scripture is Sprit-filled and meant to be living and new for every age. This is where faith formation through images becomes an important factor to consider.

Vision and Images Engage Our Hearts and Minds.

Anyone under 40 grew up socialized almost completely by images rather than words. That means that the way they came to understand, experience, process, and make meaning in their world has come through what they SEE, more so than by what they hear or read. That doesn’t mean that words don’t matter to us or our thinking. For most people, words alone don’t always open our hearts, souls, or minds and create space for the Spirit to move the way images do.

That part of the problem shouldn’t surprise to us. We are wired for imagery. According to John Medina, neuroscientist and author of the 2008 NY Times best seller, Brain Rules, vision trumps the rest of the senses. Medina explains that as brain imaging allows us to more more fully understand how “seeing” happens, we now know that both of the brain’s storage areas for emotion and experience get drawn into the process that is becomes what we see. Our vision biologically engages our hearts and greater portions of our minds.

Visual Faith Supports Faith Formation through the use of Images paired with Scripture.

Vibrant Faith considers it a privledge to have the opportunity to explore the power of pairing images with Scripture. One of most popular resource for churches and ministry leaders, Visual Faith explores the impact of paring image and Scripture for the goal of spiritual transformation. We are learning valuable insights about what very naturally moves people to more deeply experience God’ word, and creates pathways into hearts and souls.

For now, take this with you into your day.  Images have power that words do not.

Learn more about Visual Faith today! 



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Rick Lawrence is Executive Director of Vibrant Faith—he created the new curriculum Following JesusHe’s editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible and author of 40 books, including The Suicide Solution,The Jesus-Centered Life and Jesus-Centered Daily. He hosts the podcast Paying Ridiculous Attention to Jesus.


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