J.D. Walt, Seedbed’s Sower-in-Chief, interviews David Dorn, the producer of the PREPOSTEROUS Project—a free, online video Bible study for youth and young adults.
JD: Why “PREPOSTEROUS”?
David: PREPOSTEROUS means something “absurd or ridiculous.” What Jesus says is preposterous when you think about it. Not only is Jesus’ journey to the cross absurd by the world’s standards, but how He teaches His followers to live goes against what people consider “normal”. So PREPOSTEROUS is a Bible study focusing on the commands and promises of Jesus as found in the book of Matthew. Our purpose is to look at what Jesus is saying, discuss what that looks like in our culture, and try living out His words on a weekly basis.
JD: Your tagline is “Not your typical Bible study.” What is not typical about it?
David: First, no one has ever tried this format before. Sure every youth pastor or small group leader has either seen or purchased Bible studies on DVD. The problem with those type studies is that they are static and expensive. PREPOSTEROUS is different because it is interactive and free. We shoot PREPOSTEROUS on a weekly basis, that way we can incorporate into the following episode comments and video responses from the viewers. Secondly, we ask the question every episode, “what does this passage tell us about God?” When we talk about divorce, prayer, fasting, etc, we are always looking for what these verses tells us about the nature of God. This way, we are teaching people to read the Bible not as a self-help guide but as a way to deeper understand God and to be a better Jesus follower.
JD: Who is PREPOSTEROUS for?
David: Really we have designed PREPOSTEROUS to work in a variety of settings. It is intended to be used in a small group or youth group setting. We are seeing great success in getting Sunday School groups and youth groups to incorporate this as either a part of their lesson or completely use this as their study. Every episode comes with small group handouts in an effort to make this even easier to use for small group leaders. We even have a large percentage of our audience who are in college or older. But we have also been intentional to keep it current with other YouTube shows. By producing a Bible Study for YouTube, we are having people around the world experiencing Jesus in a whole new way.
JD: How did all of this come about?
David: The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church saw some of my other online ministry endeavors, and they approached me to develop something completely new in efforts to serve many of their smaller churches who cannot afford curriculums or pay youth leaders. But they also see the unparalleled potential of reaching people around the world with the Gospel through social media.
JD: How does a person access PREPOSTEROUS?
David: The best way to access everything is on our website, preposterousproject.org. All of the episodes are easily accessed there, along with the links to our YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook profiles. We just ask that any interested small group leaders sign up on the website so when a new episode is uploaded, they are sent the link to the video, the small group handout for that episode, and a link to download the episode to their computers if they want to take PREPOSTEROUS on the go.
JD: Tell us a story that has come out of it.
David: There are so many stories to tell. We hear from viewers all of the time, but one comment we receive frequently is that these videos are reconnecting people who have been very turned off by religion back to Jesus. Just this week I received an email from a father thanking me for what I’m doing. He said his daughter was a huge fan and this is really “helping her reconnect with church and God” once again.
Check out the latest episode of PREPOSTEROUS below and you can connect with PREPOSTEROUS here: