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Like the Bible, Zuck’s presentation was mythological

Take a good look at the video from Facebook’s (at least, their name at the time) Connect 2021 event. Before it even starts, there is a bit of a disclaimer at the bottom. It says:

“The following includes forward-looking statements about our future business plans and expectations. Actual results may differ materially…”

Facebook Connect 2021

Sure, it is somewhat of a legal requirement given all of the implications of saying such things as a public company. But, it alludes to how best to categorize Mark Zuckerberg’s presentation of “the metaverse.”

That is, it is a mythological vision of the future.

Business leaders give sermons too

We all should humbly admit that the presentation itself was well produced. It gave, as best as it could, an immersive experience into a future made possible by tech.

Actually, perhaps more than that, Zuckerberg’s point was that this kind of reality is almost inevitable. Everything is headed in such a direction – he wants to get there first and he wants his company to almost “be” it, in totality.

He also wants all of us to be a part of it – to be in “the metaverse” – using whatever it is meta, the company, will make as hardware or software or whatever else.

“This isn’t about spending more time on screens. This is about making the time we already spend, better.”

Mark Zuckerberg

This laying out of a grand vision, one that has moved forward (so to speak) in time and is a preferred alternative to the present, is preaching. To be more specific, it is prophetic preaching.

What makes it mythological is that it is the presentation of a story, one in which we can be characters or should judge ourselves by those characters. And, such stories can stand the test of time, becoming narrative material for whole cultures by which reality can be constructed.

Business leaders preach all the time. They do it because preaching and the exercise of our imagination, often thought of as “religion,” is a human activity. And, it has never been exclusive to the social sector known as institutional religion.

Preaching for preachers, today and tomorrow

Given that this is the case, there are just two implications for those of us who are ordained and/or in ministry leadership.

Here are a few to consider:

  1. Will vs. Should – Compared to many a sermons often delivered in pulpits today, Zuckerberg uses a lot of “will” instead of “should.” This is what you will get to do. This is what we will make. etc. etc. etc. Is it that he lacks a sense of what should or should not be? No. It is that he does not need to say that – he can simply show us what the next version of life can be like. Could church preaching do this as well? We should be like this or should be like that… okay, fine. But, you as a religious leader, what things do you bear (and bring) that you are recommending that we utilize to bring about such a reality? That is the question that preaching must answer.
  2. Time Horizons – Zuckerberg was clear that the world is only at the beginning of such a thing called, “the metaverse.” And, he mentions the next 5 to 10 years as a key period in which things will develop. Those things, he outlines and explains. Could church preaching do this as well? Sure, pastoring is about teaching. But, can you teach me something about my life and how it will be like in the next 5 to 10 years? Can you connect that to what your church is planning to do in the next 5 to 10 years? Preaching mainly happens on one day of a seven-day week because that was appropriate for a world in our past. But, today, we need to preach for the future.

The preacher’s supplies

So, in the spirit of what we are talking about here, let’s make one mention about Pulpit Supply Co.

What we believe is that the next decade will be one of an emerging Transfiguration Discipleship. Within this, we believe that new sermon frameworks and systems will need to be developed. That’s what we are working on.

Please, stay connected and share this with someone you think should know.

James J. Kang
Executive Vice President of Partnerships
Pulpit Supply Co.

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