After a week visiting Virginia's historic triangle, I have to say that these folks know how to do it right. Colonial Williamsburg, especially, has found a way to make history interesting to people who are not usually involved in the study of history. From the buildings (preserved, restored, or reconstructed) to people (trained and motivated reenactors), the historical events and persons become real to visitors. It is an interesting combination of education and entertainment (some would call it "edutainment") that goes down easily.
While I was talking on the shuttle bus with a lady from Maryland, she shared what she considered a high compliment: "It's like a Disney World experience!" Actually, it was better than that and more historically accurate!
Those of us who are religious educators could learn from this example. How do we help people feel and experience the truth of gospel? I am not just talking about recreating biblical stories (I am not encouraging a "Bible Park" approach), but how can we engage the senses of our people as they reflect upon the gospel? When we fail to use all of the senses in our education, we are failing to take advantage of everything at our disposal. Let's think about ways to make our formation process "real."