Lent is one of those mysterious things that many people simply don’t grasp, this year Loyola Productions came out with a great supplement to help teach why our Journey through Lent matters. In “40”, the world’s population mysteriously drops from 6 billion to a small group of people, luckily, one of the characters decides to video tape what the group goes through. They all end up together in a furnished warehouse where the story takes place.
Loyola Productions provides many resources to format a study of the series. After every episode they provide an outline for a small group session as well as provide a few interpretations of the episode that can help lead the group. I was especially glad they have outlines on the numerous ways to interpret each episode. As I followed the story so far, I was getting a little confused with the ambiguous nature of the story line, but the outlines provided many great directions and helped to point out not only what was going on in the video, but also gave a few different ways to take each episode. The resources are thorough and provide some great talking points that will help shape the study.
The videos are around 6 minutes long (only 5 minutes are actual story). With a shorter video the actual small group can be the focus of the study, which would be preferable to just watching a video. The downside of having a shorter video is not having a lot of time to portray a certain idea. The themes within the videos they have released so far are very broad as to what idea is trying to be portrayed, Loyola definitely counter acts this with the study outlines that are extremely helpful. As frustrated as I was with not being able to completely understand the videos the first time watching them, I realize the great benefit in a study setting. The ambiguity of the videos allows for a better conversation when it comes study time.
The website has a lot of great material for a study, but one of the greatest things for me was the comment sections on almost every page. People are able to start the conversation right underneath the video, which has its blessings.
If you are seeking a good vehicle to prompt conversation on Lent within your youth group, “40” is a great option. I look forward to the remainder of the series and how it will turn out, as long as Loyola continues to pump out the study supplements.