'Bible Geek' brings Scripture to life, teens back to Church

.- Mark Hart has received thousands of questions about faith and the Bible from teens. He responds by making the Bible fun and relevant and drawing youth back to the Catholic faith and church practice.

The 33-year-old executive vice president of Life Teen helps teens develop individual relationships with God through Bible studies, online questions and answers, retreats and live podcasts of the scriptures.

Life Teen is an international Mesa, Arizona based program that seeks to make the scriptures relevant to Catholic teens. Hart points to the lack of relevance of the Bible and the faith as a reason teens have left the church.

In his communication with teens, Hart emphasizes seven core values of a personal relationship between a teenager and God: love, joy, evangelization, primary vocation, affirmation, authenticity and Eucharistic spirituality.

The Phoenix native picked up his moniker, the Bible Geek, a few years ago by accident. He was leading a Bible study and had to leave town. Before he did, he e-mailed a dozen teens in the study explaining how the scripture they were studying pertained to their lives.

"I didn't want the e-mail to be about me so I signed it 'Bible Geek,' and it became a huge hit instantly," Hart told The Arizona Republic.

Life Teen was launched more than 20 years ago. Today, it is in 1,200 parishes and 20 countries. Hart and Life Teen will be spotlighted Sunday on American Bible Society Presents at 11:30 a.m. on Ion television, Channel 51.

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