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Taylor helps trigger talk

It’s been a labor of love for Bob Taylor (’99) and his partners at Passenger Productions. The “Trigger” videos they created were released recently by Zondervan.

Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor

The Trigger videos are just that—short videos to trigger conversations in youth groups or classrooms about difficult issues young people encounter in their lives or in the lives of those around them. Some topics push teens to talk about the church, their faith, their relationships, the Spirit. Some point to difficult issues like cutting, extramarital sex, pornography, and bulimia.

“We wanted to create something that would reach kids like we were in high school, sometimes struggling with their place in church, not particularly interested in youth groups as we knew them,” says Taylor.

Passenger Productions is a video production company based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It’s made up of five people with Dordt College connections: Joe Hubers (ex ’01), who attended Dordt for only a year because Dordt did not have a digital media major at that time; Darin Vander Well (’03), a biology major; Todd Montsma, a current resident director; and Seth Dekkenga, a grandson of emeritus communication professor Martin Dekkenga.

The series of short, thought-provoking videos creates an opportunity for leaders or teachers to engage young people. They do not tell them what to talk about or ask specific questions. It is not a curriculum to plug in, let run, and follow up with a couple of questions.

Todd Montsma

Todd Montsma

“They’re more like movies without an ending,” Taylor says. He describes the DVDs as tools to help leaders as they walk beside those they work with—resources to help them not only deal with the tough issues in their lives but also to see the healing and hope Christ brings.

“Leaders are very important in this process,” says Taylor. They need to understand the young people they work with and know what they are thinking about and dealing with.

“We would like to help ministries that do not have the budget to hire good video work,” say Taylor and Montsma.

Serving others is a strong motivator for all of those involved in Passenger Productions. The group has produced one documentary, “Riding With Ghosts” which tells the story of some Lakota men and their struggles living in the world of the white man.

They continue to believe that media is the loudest voice in today’s culture, so Taylor says they take seriously something he learned from Bob Briner’s book Roaring Lambs—that Christians need to make good art not just for Christians but to be a salt and light in the world and to give a voice to the voiceless.