Most of us have that movie that we’ve never seen in its entirety. We’ve caught bits & pieces here & there on AMC, can describe the main characters & possibly even recall several of the major scenes. Yet we can’t quite wrap our mind around the entire plot. We lack many of the key details, major turning points & pivotal climactic interactions. We sense the film’s general direction, yet the full significance lies just beyond our grasp.
For me, one of those movies is The Matrix. Now that I’ve instantly lost credibility with 2/3 of you, I’d like to take a moment to thank the handful of folks who are still reading this paragraph. Being 31 years old & never having seen this modern classic that released when I was in 8th grade (1999 feels WAY further in the distance than it should) is truly absurd. All those times it was playing in the background in a college friend’s dorm room, looping for hours at a time on AMC or sitting there in the bargain DVD bin at Walmart just waiting to be purchased for pennies on the dollar. Yet I can recall little more than Neo’s famed bullet dodging scene, Morpheus’ classic glasses or Hugo Weaving’s sinister A.I. portrayal – all information you could read about on the back of the DVD case.
So where are we going with this? Several months ago, I was wrestling with just how piecemeal the Bible’s storyline seems to many Jesus followers. Even those of us who grew up in the Church learning our fair share of Bible stories & Sunday School theology snippets are hard-pressed to articulate the narrative arc of all 66 books of the Bible. And that’s not a good thing, especially since God’s Word is what the Holy Spirit uses on a daily basis to reveal the character, action & purpose of Jesus’ mission & our ongoing transformation resulting from it. Given that our student ministry averages about 40 hours of influence per year (compared to parents’ approximately 3,000 hours of influence) on teenagers’ spiritual lives, I had to ask myself how we could best steward that 50 minutes of time each week.
Enter The Bible Project. Though I can’t take credit for discovering this incredible content, I’m thankful that God used Brian Bain to put it on my radar. So what do they do exactly? Well here’s a quick 3-point summary…
The Bible Project produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere through exploring the unified story, overarching themes & each book’s literary design.
The Bible Project seeks to understand the Bible in its historical context & to communicate its wisdom for the modern world. They let the biblical story speak for itself, believing that it has immense wisdom to offer the modern world.
Their mission? Helping people see the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus. Several weeks ago, we started through the first 5 books of the Bible. It’s been cool to see students making connections that they never saw before in Genesis, Exodus & the rest of the Pentateuch. The stories they learned through the Gospel Project in the Village beginning before they could even talk are suddenly coming to life as the Holy Spirit weaves the characters & events together to reveal his plan to save the world from sin.
As we continue forward, I’m excited to see how Jesus uses these powerful segments & our discussion afterward to transforms students’ lives & how they engage with the Bible. And I’m glad that parents can review the segments we watch with their students at home, using the study guides & visual posters to spur discussion about God’s big story. All of their content can be downloaded…for FREE! (Though we suggest that you consider making a donation to further their work, just as Renegade Student Ministries does each month.)
Has your interest been peaked? I certainly hope so! Whether you’re an adult, a teenager or a kid, I’m confident that you’ll enjoy checking out The Bible Project online. Just go to thebibleproject.com to see for yourself how this ministry is changing how followers of Jesus read, understand & apply the Bible’s wisdom to their lives. And after you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org when you get a chance. Talk to y’all again soon.