I received a Restless DVD-based Kit for review from Jennie Allen’s publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Can I just say up front that I highly recommend this study if you are ready to dig in to scripture, and yourself, as Jennie asks:
“We live with lots of things, lots of people…but do we live for something?”
“What does God want me to do while I am here?”
Yes, I am Restless. I was made for more. I can’t wait to dig in deeper to this study with my girlfriends when more time allows.
The Restless DVD-based kit released on January 7, 2014. The kit includes a DVD, a Study Guide, a Leader Guide, and Conversation Cards. Each piece is also available for individual purchase. Please note the Restless book* (available in paperback and e-book) is not included in the kit.
This kit provides all you need to lead or facilitate a Restless study group. Each member will need their own paperback study guide. I love my kindle, but for a study like this, where there is a lot of study questions and self-discovery, you need an actual book to write in.
If you have never led a study group, Jennie provides tips on how to do so. Each week includes the main idea, the main goal, and questions to focus on when discussing that week’s homework. Allow at least 1 ½ hours to 2 hours for your group. This is how the study is broken down:
1) Discuss your personal reflections from study guide (20-35 minutes)
2) Watch study video (20 minutes) – you will need your bible and paper to write on
3) Conversation cards (30-75 minutes)
I love that the study guide is small in size (8×7).
There is a lot of interactive writing. Each lesson (except Introduction) is meant to be completed during the week prior to your group meeting. It requires reading passages in your Bible as well as completing ‘application projects’ (self-discovery; vision; dreams). A few of these projects are from Jennie’s book Restless*, but there are so many more to study and fill in within the study guide. I am truly excited to dig in deep with this study guide and discover for myself what God’s plan is for me.
Getting Started – Because you were made for more. We were designed to dream. We were called to dream. Jennie explores four starting places we might be at, including the starting line. She encourages us to think about what is keeping us from dreaming? She introduces us to the life of Joseph.
Lesson 1 – God’s Story – the place where your restless soul meets God is the place where nothing ever feels small again. I look forward to reflecting on Christ’s actions toward certain temptations as well as God’s nature.
Lesson 2 – Gifts – God has a plan to use your gifts, personality, and work to display himself to your portion of the world. I have completed a spiritual gifts inventory before (resources included here) and I look forward to reflecting on my strengths with a friend in this guide to see where God has used them and wants to continue using them.
Lesson 3 – Suffering – Out of our pain we could heal our world. I can’t say I “look forward” to reflecting on my past sufferings, but I can see where Jennie’s ‘consider’ and ‘reflect’ activities will be very helpful to me in moving forward.
Lesson 4 – Places – It’s not our places; it’s what we do in our places. A lot of vision and dreaming in this section. Something I don’t give myself enough time to do.
Lesson 5 – People – God’s economy makes beautiful exchanges: as we give, we grow. Consider people to pursue in your life. Definitely looking forward to working through this section.
Lesson 6 – Passions – God built us to love different things so we could meet different needs. I think I know my passions but I’m looking forward to digging in to conquering my fears that hold me back from pursuing those passions.
Lesson 7 – Mystery – Nothing we have done matters without the Spirit of God. I love Jennie’s illustration on looking at the big picture. “You have dug deep, been vulnerable, and opened yourself up to new possibilities.” Now it’s time to weave all the above threads together.
DVD (20-minute sessions)
Jennie has a 2-minute study trailer on her website where you can see samples of her teaching from the videos. I love that each session opens up with a short clip of Jennie’s girlfriends answering questions (similar to what you see in the video trailer). It sets the tone for this to be a laid-back, but vulnerable time to share. You will need your Bible and paper to write on (if you’re like me who likes to take notes). The DVD sessions provide a “jumpstart a powerful time of reflection and processing how to apply all they have learned in personal study that week”. The DVD is watched after you have discussed your personal reflections from your study guide. Jennie teaches more on what you studied, provides illustrations, and shares her own personal stories as well. Those are my favorite of any study, especially this one. There are no fill-in-the-blanks as you watch this video. You follow along in your Bible.
I really enjoyed these video sessions. Being a fellow Texan, I loved the locale of Austin, inside an old church. Jennie is such a great teacher. She is just so down to earth and I felt like I was in that little room with her and the other women each session. These videos will be a great inspirational “icing on the cake” after your weekly study. The 8 sessions are titled the same as the lessons in your guide. **kleenex alert on “Suffering”.
I really like the idea of these conversation cards. There are 12-13 cards for each session, including the Introduction session. You simply lay out the cards with questions facing up. Allow each group member to take her favorite one and take turns responding. Additional sets of cards can be ordered separately if you have a larger group(s).
Study Trailer – Jennie has a 2-minute study trailer on her website.
Purchase – The Restless DVD-based Kit retails for $59.99; however Amazon sells it for $41.97 (as of 3/15/14).
About Jennie Allen – Check out Jennie’s website to read her blog, and view her books, bible studies, and upcoming speaking events.
*If you are interested in Jennie’s book, Restless (not included in the Study Kit), she has a 1-minute book trailer on her website.