Chase, DVD-Based Study
by Jennie Allen
I’ve been leading women’s small groups in some form or another off and on for about 15 years and Jennie Allen’s new study, Chase, is definitely something unique. In order to really appreciate the beauty of what she’s done here, you need to be willing to try something new in women’s Bible study.
Radical idea—I know! And it’s not that there was something particularly “broken” about other studies for women. Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, Kelly Minter, Jennifer Rothschild, Priscilla Shirer, Lysa TerKeurst, etc. all have studies that I’ve loved and that have been life-changing opportunities for spiritual growth in me.
The unique difference between those studies and Chase was that I could do many of the other women’s Bible studies (and have often enough) on my own sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of tea, a journal, and a Bible. Chase, though, is an entirely interactive study.
Some women will probably glance through the workbook and decide it just doesn’t go as deep as other workbook-style studies. Her questions are very open-ended and rely more on personal reflection, which might be hard for those of who are more accustomed to the concrete format of fill-in-the-blank.
At the same time, I’ve found so many women who want to grow closer to God, but are easily overwhelmed by lengthy homework assignments. They are busy or just don’t like reading and writing or maybe are already doing studies in other groups throughout the week. Because so much of the material in Chase is covered right there in the group time, it is accessible to a larger circle of women.
Many more traditional DVD-based women’s Bible studies are also quite a costly investment for women’s groups, especially in small churches. This study, though, is wonderfully affordable for even the smallest of gatherings.
The study itself is a 7-week focus on the life of David and how even when he got things terribly wrong, he always turned around and chased after God. In a world where we’re tempted by busyness and culture, media, and even the church at times to chase a million things, maybe even a million “good” things, we need to stop and ask—am I really chasing after God and God alone? Have I gotten off track? Have I been distracted? These are the questions the study urges us to consider.
The depth of Chase, though, is in the group discussion. It truly has a fabulously new and fresh way of engaging women and getting them to share with others. Inside the kit is a leader guide, a member workbook, a DVD with 10-minute long teaching sessions to open each week, and then a box of question cards. Each week has its own assigned cards and group members simply pick them up and answer them, doing as many as time allows and interacting freely and without restraint. Questions on the cards range from personal reflection or application (In what ways have you been chasing God in your life?) to Scripture-based with verses and an opportunity to apply them to the discussion.
Even the brevity of the DVD sessions ensures that the time you spend in group together is mostly spent talking with another, rather than listening to a teaching for the bulk of the time and just spending a quick ten minutes wrapping up. The emphasis here always seems to be on maximizing the time you spend learning from and sharing with others.
Jennie comes across as relaxed and vulnerable, honest, real, transparent, and gently funny. In the videos, she talks to the camera rather than being filmed teaching a group of women, which feels particularly intimate—like grabbing a mug of coffee (which you see her do) or a cup of tea and chatting about God and Scripture and passion.
If you’re looking for just an individual study to pick up and enjoy at your own kitchen table, this really isn’t the format that’s best for you. But if you can gather with a group of women, even if it’s just three of you, Chase would be a great way of deepening your relationships with one another while encouraging the passionate pursuit of God above all else.
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.”