My first exposure to Marc Hart It was when our youth ministry and director of religious education (which I’ll just call “Kelly” for short) started talking about him a few years ago. I first saw Mark Hart in action last year at our Summer Confirmation Training Camp (which I co-teach), when Kelly used one of his videos as part of Lesson.
About two months ago, on the advice of Lauren Gulde, I started to listen to the Sunday, Sunday, Sunday podcast, which is hosted by none other than Mark Hart.
But I’ve always been in shock, I admit.
Consider the rock faded away now and take that as a warning to the world that I am now an official Mark Hart fangirl, all thanks to this:
It’s the Meet, a college Bible study starring, you guessed it, Mark Hart. Here is the synopsis:
Meet is more than a Bible study program. It is a life-changing experience that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of school-aged children. Designed specifically for students in grades six to eight, Meet use color code Bible timeline learning system to reveal the story of our faith and God’s plan for our lives. As your students are drawn into this story, they will come to a new and deeper understanding of who God is. Most importantly, they will see God not as a distant doctrinal concept, but as a loving Father who desires a meaningful and lasting encounter with them.
Now, before I widened my eyes and thought that I just didn’t drink enough coffee, I thought the description was overkill. I thought it might be, well, a a little “marketing language” taken to the extreme.
And then I looked at it.
It’s pretty hard NOT to get excited when looking at Mark Hart, have you ever noticed this? And I agree with him in the introduction when he points out that the reason no one else has done college Bible studies is “they’re afraid of it!” “Mark Hart told the studio audience:” I’m not afraid of you. [middle schoolers]. I have the power of God. I almost fell out of laughter – and maybe a shock. Ascension LET IT BE RELEASED IN THIS WAY.
All of a sudden, I’m paying attention in a whole new way. And I think maybe Mark Hart drinks some coffee that I need to get myself.
The studio crew looks totally REAL. They are bored to begin with. I WAS THERE (both as a student and as a catechist). In the end… there is nothing they can do about it. They are take advantage themselves.
Although it is designed for college kids, I want to use it for parents.
I have been a catechist for quite a while, and for three or four years, I have done more with our older children, between 5th and 8th, both for religious education courses and for preparation for Confirmation. I have also done more with adults, both through my online and writing work and in our parish.
Do you know what I found? This is what adults need.
Mark Hart has energy, he is honest and his material is impeccable.
Most of the adults in our ward don’t know any more than our Confirmation students. And they are hungry (although they are also about ten times as busy and have absolutely no time for anything).
These resources are as beautiful as they are useful.
On the one hand, the videos are entertaining, well produced and rich in information. They are worth watching and paying attention. As a dropping out group, I don’t say any of this lightly.
Best of all, the workbook and leader’s guide are awesome. I say this both as a catechist and as a parent. I took quite a few pictures to show how awesome they are (see image above), but I’ll spare you the trouble of posting them and raving about each one. Because here is what I say again, page by page: “Wow! Ooooh! REALLY?”
Kids now have high expectations – and why shouldn’t they? A color filing cabinet is expensive, I know that. It is also TOTALLY wonderful to use. It may be overkill. Or maybe it catches the eye. When I try this study with real college kids, I’ll get a better idea of this.
The leader’s guide is also in color and also has a step-by-step process along with some great tips and tricks for the leader.
I guarantee I will be using it with a group of college kids (maybe even during our Confirmation follow-up series this fall…).
Each part is designed for college students. (Yeah, even so, I stick to what I said before: I can try it with parents too!) From graphics to video presentations, this was done by people who know the kids in the Grades 6 to 8 and strive to meet their Needs.
Highly, highly recommended.
Now forgive me, I have to start my Mark Hart stalking activities. ??