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.

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