Thursday, July 9, 2015

A TOS Review: Prasso Ministries

It is becoming increasingly important for me to help Josiah establish a healthy devotional life. Both my husband and I place the study of God’s Word in the highest priority. Beyond that, I am also lead a Bible study group for our teens at our church. I am always looking for a study truly focuses on discipleship.

This summer, I was blessed with the opportunity from Prasso Ministries to review the Teen Prasso Teacher's Manual and Homework Manual.

The lessons are intended to encourage teens in their faith. We all know that we live in a world full of distractions and a culture counter to what God says in His Word. Not only must we challenge our kids with His truth, but we also must teach them how to apply it in their days to day lives.

You can use the study a couple of different ways. It can be used at home or in a group. It is a good fit for homeschoolers, as well.

The Teen Prasso Teacher’s Manual is comprised of 13 weekly teaching lessons. A Key Verse is introduced along with a Message Goal. For example, the key verse in Lesson 1 is Proverbs 4:25-26.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.

Ponder the path of your feet;  then all your ways will be sure.

The Message Goal is “help students understand that starting on the right path and staying on the path will lead their life in all the right directions.”

A story involving two brothers (Brandon and Derek) is introduced at this time. They are attempting a hike through a remote area of the Rocky Mountains.

The Message part of the lesson is scripted out and makes it easy for the leader to keep to the point.  The Message is also interwoven in between certain sections of the story. I found this was really affective for my group. I could address key points without having to backtrack.

The Teacher’s Manual is well done. There are some really helpful tips for leading good discussions. I know that many of us have lead a discussion with a group of teens and asked what we felt were thoughtful and (possibly) life changing questions. Only to be met with….crickets.

One of my favorite part of the manual is a list of suggestions on how to deal with a diverse group. For example, anybody familiar with The Debater? Those are the students whose seem to just want to argue with every point. The authors remind us that we are in control and ultimately we just need to move on. Some debate is healthy. We all know when it isn’t.

I don’t have trouble with that in my house. My son is more of The Daydreamer. “What? We weren’t talking about football?”

The Teacher’s Manual also has a teaching outline available. This is certainly helpful if you do use this study in a group.

The Homework Manual is used right along with the Weekly Lessons from the Teacher’s Manual…only there are daily devotions to go right along with the lesson.

Let’s say that on a Monday we read through Week 8’s lesson on Anger. The accompanying group discussion questions is at the back of Chapter 7 of the student journal. (Not to worry…all of it is laid out for you in the Teacher’s Manual..its easy peasy to follow).

However, every day that week there are a set of activities for the student to all pertaining to Anger. The activities include everything from copying out scripture, answering specific questions about scripture and doing some real soul searching.

I love, love this Homework Manual. I found that it got right to the heart of the matter. I love that there is so much Scripture to read and to write.

Obviously, if you are using this in its entirety for a group you will need a copy for each child. I used it both at home and at church. I only had one copy of the Student Journal. I just verbally touched on some of the key points and used the discussion questions in the back when using it with the church group.

I am perfectly okay with Josiah having to double dip at home and at church. It’s good for him!

The Homework Manual is cleverly illustrated and has a nice layout. My only complaint is that the font was just a bit difficult for my dyslexic boy.  It wasn’t impossible and I did the majority of the reading anyway.

A few final thoughts…

I understand what kind of time and effort goes into writing a study like this. My husband and I have written several children, teen and adult discipleship studies in our time as pastors. I found this one to be very well done. I feel that it hits on some major issues that teens struggle with daily. In fact, I have been blessed personally.

I love the daily study aspect. It is important to keep the Word in hearts daily. We’ve also been able to have some great discussions that had nothing to do with football!

We are going to continue using it at church. We’ve had a few weeks of special events and extra things going on. I look forward to getting back to our study.



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Prasso Ministries Review

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