Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review of Prasso Ministries

Teen Prasso Review
I always love a product with an awesome name, so when Prasso Ministries came up on the Crew's review list, I had to look to the vendor's site to see what the name meant. It turns out that Prasso is a Greek word meaning continually, repeatedly, and habitually practice. Now that's a word I could adopt in my own life, especially where a Bible study is concerned, so I was quite excited when we received for review The Teen Prasso Teacher's Manual and the Teen Prasso Homework Manual.

Both books are spiral bound for increased ease of studying and writing. The Teen Manual contains 12 lessons, and the Teacher Manual contains 13. Although the chapter/lesson headings have different names, they do mirror each other. The Teacher Manual has 124 pages, while the Student Journal has 185.

Teen Prasso Review

Teen Prasso Review

The Teacher Manual includes instructions for Group Discussion Leaders, as well as directions for how to use the Teen Prasso material. Each chapter includes a Teaching Outline consisting of a Key Verse, a Message Goal, and a fictional story in three parts, interspersed with Biblical analysis and application to a teen's daily life. Teaching tips are included on the first page of each lesson.

The Student Journal chapters consist of an Introduction, followed by daily reflection questions. Students are asked to read Bible chapters and/or verses and to reflect on them in light of various prompts, many of which could relate to their daily lives (the news, science, etc.). The font is a handwriting type and there are minimal black and white graphics. Because chapters consist of six "days," we considered a chapter to last two weeks.

What We Thought of Prasso

As with any Protestant Bible study, this one had its limitations for us. Because Protestants approach Christianity from the perspective of sola Scriptura, and with a very literal reading of said Scriptura at that, some aspects of this study are overly simplistic from a Catholic point-of-view. Catholics also take into consideration 2,000 years of sacred Tradition and the teaching of the Magesterium, and consider those also to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. So, for instance, in Chapter 5, when the study says to "deal directly with God" about whether you have truly repented of your sins, from where I sit, that sounds 100% like a direct order not even to consider the Sacrament of Confession or the counsel of a Priest. That rubs me the wrong way. It is, of course, however, a Protestant Bible study!

For what it is, I think this is a very good product. It covers a lot of major topics (God's Love, Anger, Forgiveness) pretty thoroughly, but in a really engaging and thought provoking way. I actually prefer the use of the Student Journal on its own. I found trying to use the Teacher Manual with Therese (13) awkward. It was much more effective for us for me just to give her the Student Journal and tell her to have at it and then discuss the week's work with her. For groups, though, I think the Teacher's Manual would be terrific.

Therese took a break from her usual Catholic Bible study to work on Prasso for the last six weeks, but has decided not to continue with it. She prefers a study that is more unifying in terms of our whole faith (in other words, one that doesn't just ask her to look up verses and answer questions based on what they say). A Catholic Bible study typically has a student looking up things in the Bible and in the Catechism and, often, consulting the writings of the Church Fathers as well.

From what I have seen of other Protestant studies, though, this one is certainly worthy of consideration for those in the market for an attention-getting (and keeping!) teen Bible study - especially if it is to be used in a group setting.

To connect with Prasso on social media, visit them on Facebook.

Prasso Ministries Review

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