Restless: Because You Were Made for More DVD-Based Study Kit
by Jennie Allen
I’ve reviewed Jennie Allen’s book, Anything, and her study, Chase, and I come to the same conclusion even now as I review her newest study materials: Restless: Because You Were Made for More. Jennie Allen always comes across as genuine. That’s the beauty of her writing, the beauty of her DVD teaching. I think that strikes a special chord with women who are looking for ‘real’ in this world.
Her study, Restless, is about finding our place in God’s story, how He has made us and what He has designed us to do. She bookends the study of Joseph with a broader look at God’s plans and calling. The sessions include: Getting Started, God’s Story, Gifts, Suffering, Places, People, Passions, and Mystery.
A study on this topic has to walk a particular balance. We need to know that we’re serving with pure motives, but not be so focused on that that we fail to serve at all. We need to find our spiritual gifts and obey God’s call, but we can’t strike out on our own with pride and ambition, valuing stage ministries, best-selling authors, and the like more than the service in our own homes and communities. By focusing on God’s story first and then pushing forward to finding our spiritual gifts and passions, she gives that sense of balance that is needed.
Jennie Allen returns to the idea again and again of finding the threads of our life that appear mundane and trusting that God is in them and using them for His glory. Working in our cubicle, changing that diaper—we can serve in the humblest of ways and still run with passion and purpose and not get caught up in comparing ourselves with others.
I love the truly unique format of her study kits. It comes with an eight-session DVD (each session is about 20 minutes long), one copy of the study guide, a leader’s guide, and a box of discussion cards. The DVD sessions are really the perfect length—long enough to contribute to the lesson, but not so long that your small group has no time for sharing with each other rather than just listening to her teach. The study is discussion-driven thanks to the box of cards with questions you use during the small group time.
Her DVD teaching sessions actually begin with real women sitting at a desk and answering some of the questions, including an opening moment with Jennie herself looking like you’d meet her at the Target—not dressed and made-up like a bestselling author and speaker—just ‘real’ Jennie. These are some of my favorite moments in the study, hearing and connecting with their stories and journeys.
Jennie teaches from a re-purposed abandoned church in Texas outfitted with Mason jar vases and comfy couches and antique desks with a small group of women listening as she talks. It’s lovely and cozy and inviting all the while her passionate teaching stirs up a desire to find your own place in God’s story.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”