InTransit: What To Do With Your Wait? (Review) ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, March 23, 2007

InTransit: What To Do With Your Wait? (Review)

Glossy Production Meets Solid Content

I was recently sent a review copy of InTransit, a resource from Threads - Lifeway's young adult imprint. InTransit, by Mike Harder, is essentially an out-of-the-box Bible study that combines multimedia with very accessible written content. The resource is designed to tackle the question that everyone asks when they're young, and most of us continue to ask at regular intervals: Why is nothing really great happening right now and what am I supposed to be doing with my life?

Deliberately geared for a small group context, the six sessions feature audio tracks and video clips as a way to get things moving. The "leader kit," which I received, includes additional material (cool email header graphics, discussion questions, good "how-to" articles). On the quantity count, InTransit scores. It's also nicely produced.

If this study was a college kid, it would be one good-looking hipster. Lifeway clearly sunk some coin into production - which is admirable in a resource that's aimed at a younger crowd. However, I immediately found myself wondering, "Will this be another shiny item with the staying power of bubblegum?"

I felt a slight sense of dread (ok, "curiosity" is more like it) as I ripped off the shrink-wrap and began flipping through the enclosed handbook. I plugged in the CD. I hit up the
Threads site (which looks a little like an early Relevant Online clone). Then I breathed a sigh of relief.

If InTransit has a downside, it's probably that author Mike Harder uses the word "stuff" too many times, which is a forgivable error. I appreciated the study's strong biblical grounding--centered on the lives of Joseph, David, and Jesus--which prevents the sessions from getting the introverted-church-therapy feel that small groups can easily take on. The content is solid and nuanced, stepping around potential land mines (e.g., "Screw waiting! Get your best life now").

"Waiting" is a subjective and emotionally-charged subject, which makes it hard to tackle but impossible to avoid. I like the approach that Mike Harder and InTransit bring, combining sensitivity with theological weight. The music tracks, video, and website don't hurt either, framing the discussion effectively for a 20 to 30-something audience.

Threads is a young imprint, but I like what they're doing so far.

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Nancy said...

We are starting this study with a group of 6, 20 something ladies... we are not using the extra resources because we don't want to invest in them.
Thanks for the review... I'll let you know how it goes!


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife