Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Elevating and Enriching

Prototype Group Experience DVD: What Happens When You Discover You're More like Jesus than You Think?
By Jonathan Martin

As a pastor, I have been witness to many DVD studies. Unfortunately, many don’t live up to their hype (or price for that matter!).

But this new DVD study is genuine and heartfelt.  And something about Pastor Jonathan Martin’s voice and presentation style just makes you sit back and allow the concepts to seemingly melt over you. The videos (each one only totaling about 15 minutes in length) are also not just a talking head—although Jonathan does have some face time.  The videos are well shot and produced, and you don’t feel like he is preaching to you, but rather having a conversation with you. The videos also tell a story and are more like a mini-movies expounding on the topic of the week.

And the topics Jonathan covers are very fitting for a Small Group setting, where people can come together and share concerns, like: roles and expectations that compete for our attention, how we sometimes feel alone, and how we can help others in our church feel God’s presence.

The leader guide that comes with the DVD is well laid out and offers an option for a shorter 30-45 minute class or normal 70-75 minute class.  Although, after watching the videos, the time frames given in the guide often did not match up with the video.  For example, the guide says: “PLAY SESSION 1 VIDEO, PART 1 (10 minutes),” but in actuality that video portion was only 6 minutes.  I guess being a few minutes off isn't too bad, but just a note for leaders—do your homework before and watch the videos ahead of time to help with your planning.

I also really liked that Jonathan included in each session a “Bible Focus” in the leader’s guide that gets students in the class away from the video and into Scripture and lively discussion. Often with video series, this can be left out. 

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this DVD study for my unbiased review.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Do not resuscitate

REVIEW: A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity have a funeral or a future? By Mark Driscoll

I was really excited to get this book, because I believe that Christians indeed need to have a resurgence in this world. Jesus Christ is the only hope this world has! 

However, while I liked the concept, I found the book less than adequate. I was expecting a motivating, get-off-your-butt inspirational charge for Christians. But, I didn't find that. 

Author Mark Driscoll is an unapologetic Reformed, complimentarian, continuationist, and missional pastor (if you are not for sure what those terms mean, he offers a whole chapter explaining them). While I can appreciate that he knows who he is, as a female pastor, I felt much of the book overly chauvinistic and aimed only at men since he believes solely in men being leaders. (By the way, we also differ on other theology as well.)

While there are a few nuggets of truth and wisdom found in this book, overall I personally would not recommend it.

If you want more information on Driscoll and the book, feel free  to visit http://theresurgence.com/

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my unbiased review.