I recently was given the wonderful opportunity of reviewing a Bible study by Jennie Allen. The study is actually a DVD-based Bible study for women titled Chase - Chasing after the heart of God and it is a fantastic study released by Thomas Nelson publishers.
The study is based on King David who is, as you may recall, one of my favorite Bible characters. You see, King David was a man after God's own heart, and shouldn't we as followers of God pattern ourselves to be after God's own heart as well? In today's society, we get caught up in so many different things that we often forget about or put God on the back burner when really he should be at the forefront of our every moment.
This DVD study comes with one disc, which has an introduction and seven lessons on it. Each lesson is approximately 10 minutes in length with an inspirational message from Jennie Allen. The message she speaks isn't lofty or holier than thou, but is actually a message that I think most every woman can relate to and understand.
The seven topics are: Identity (What's defining you?), Courage (If we are truly courageous then we have nothing to lose), Obedience (The more we trust God, the more we obey him), Belief (The basis of our relationship with God), Repentance (We must see our sin in order to see our need for God), Surrender (Don't let your circumstances dictate whether or not you surrender yourself to God) and finally Chased Down (God chased us down through Jesus). The seven topics of discussion make this study ideal for a seven week study - covering one topic per week.
In addition to the disc with the message from Jennie, the set also comes with a study book. The study book is interactive in that there are a lot of though provoking questions and as well as scriptures and other messages that should help prompt discussion in your group. The books are available separately from the DVD set and can be purchased for around $10 each. If you are thinking of pulling together a group of girlfriends to study these lessons together, then I would suggest that each person purchase a study book. The book has space for note taking and for answering questions and is something that each woman can have to look at through the week before each lesson.
There is also a book for the group leader so that the woman leading the Bible study can steer the group in the right the direction. The leader book provides a main idea for the lesson, a main goal, provides points of discussion, additional scripture and homework discussion for the group.
One of the things I love most about the study are the conversation cards that come in the box set. There are a set of cards for the introduction and each of the seven lessons. Each card has a thought-provoking message or question on it which can be discussed amongst the group or the just by the person who draws the card.
This is truly one of the best Bible studies I have done in a long time. I really enjoyed every minute of it. I actually did each of the lessons by myself for this review but am interested in doing a group study with some of my close friends or even the girls from my class at church. I think we could all get a lot out of this study and I feel like I could get even more out of it when study with other people and hearing their perspective on these same topics. In the end it all comes down to one question - what are you chasing? Shouldn't it be the heart of God?
If you are in the market for a great Bible study for your small women's group, then I encourage you to give Chase a try. It currently retails for less than $30 on Amazon for the entire set, which is a really great bargain.
I was provided a Q&A with the author Jennie Allen which can be found below. For more information on the Jennie, please click here.
Why is the story of David in Chase one that you feel women today need to hear?
Jennie: David is the wild, passionate, warrior king, but something about the way he related to God
has wrecked me. His view of God was so big. David actually believed God and he lived like it. I think as a generation of women, we are longing for the same lives. We want to believe God is real and to live like it.
This is not a study for people wanting to play it safe... This study messes with you because we all are chasing things other than God, and when you look into the life of someone chasing God himself... God alone, you start craving that. I want a life like David’s, brave and dependent and full of worship. He had a relationship with God unlike any other in Scripture; honestly, unlike any other I've ever seen. I want to know God like he did and trust God like he did.
How will women relate to Chase who have already completed your first Bible study, Stuck?
Jennie: Chase is a natural next step after Stuck... after you work through areas that are holding you back... naturally you want to run. Chase is more adventurous and helps women dream about all that God wants for us here, about how to live a life pointed squarely on Him. But Chase has the same interactive and relational format people loved in Stuck and great conversation starters over Scripture and projects to flesh out what you just studied.
How can small group leaders, groups of friends and others use your studies, like Chase, to dig deeper into God’s Word?
Jennie: Every study begins with Scripture, and the entire time you are going back to God’s Word together, but this is a lot more than an intellectual examination of Scripture. My prayer is that this would be a place where truth and experience come together. I designed these studies to take women from the point of understanding the truth all the way to the point of living that truth. From the personal questions to the projects that make you face your doubts about God.... it feels a little scary but I love that these studies push us to places of faith. There aren't easy answers, and it makes us wrestle with God - not just check boxes and fill in blanks.
What do you hope that women discover most about themselves and about God after experiencing Chase?
Jennie: I think a lot of us are tired and we would like to please God, but it feels like it would take a lot of effort to do that. Chase seems to be an experiment in what it is God wants from us. The more I understand what God has done, the more I quit striving and rest in Him. David rested in the work of God - in God’s favor - in the plans God had written for him. Whether you are running from God or working your tail off to please Him, this man’s journey will challenge your view of God.
As you continue to grow as a Bible study teacher and author, what are you learning?
Jennie: The theme seems to be clear in my life.... this is not about me. My job will always be simply to push everyone up to the face of Jesus, because I believe He is actual, tangible hope. Not one other thing gives hope that lasts longer than a few minutes... Jesus offers hope for the biggest problems and He resolves them forever. Where else do we go but Him? That is my job and I pray I keep my head down and just play my small role in His plan.