I have another honor today of bringing you an interview with Jennifer Kennedy Dean, author of the new book Set Apart: A 6 Week Study of the Beatitudes. At the end of this post, leave a comment if you would like to be entered for a drawing to win the following items from Jennifer:
*A Set Apart Leader’s Kit (video and leader resources and a student book) retail $79.99
*A copy of Fueled by Faith (retail $19.99)
*Jennifer will have a live web event just for your group
* If you are a leader (small groups, book club, Bible Study, Women’s Ministry), please note that you are–you will automatically be entered in the contest.
* If you are a member of one of these groups at your church or community, mention that you are a group member.
This is what has been said of this study…
Set Apart is a Bible Study that will challenge readers to grow in their walk and commitment to Christ. This workbook style text dissects both the Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes while providing deeper understanding of the correlation of both passages of scripture. Holiness, prayer, and obedience are the major themes of living this SET APART life.
We were made for holiness, and this core concept of the Beatitudes is accessed through a praying life—a life lived in the present-tense power of God. It is only when we continually pursue holiness that blessedness comes, and we discover the power and fulfillment of the promise of God.
You are known for your extensive research and your fresh insights. Do you have a method for gleaning new concepts?
Of course, the truths are not new, but I think I sometimes am able to frame old truths in new ways. I always find that when I put the words of Jesus into their original Hebraic setting and experience the scene through the viewpoint of His real-time audience, some new little fragment of truth finds its way into my thinking.
I like to let the Scripture breathe. To let it sit in my heart until its full aroma has time to emerge. There’s the hard-core research, and then there’s the marinating. Turn your imagination loose and unfurl your curiosity, and listen to the living Word.
You have a series of Bible studies in the format of Set Apart, designed to be interactive. This series of studies has video series and leader’s kits available. What is the advantage to this kind of format?
I try to produce a new Bible study with video series every year. I like the interactive format because I like to pull the reader into the scripture to experience the Word. I like to challenge the reader to interact with the thoughts and ideas and to take the time to absorb them and apply them, rather than just to read.
The other thing I like about this format is that it can be done by an individual, or as a group. In the video series, I like to be able to teach the main points of the material and set the learners up for a productive week of personal study. I love feeling like I get to be part of your Bible study group! The kits have lots of other resources for leading a small group in the study.
Several of your studies have theme songs that go with them, as Set Apart does. How do these songs come about?
I have developed a song-writing relationship with a talented musician named Roxanne Lingle. I write poems, we turn them into lyrics, Roxanne composes and arranges the music, and Roxanne records the songs.
For Set Apart, we have the theme song in the form of a music video, which is a new addition. In the leader’s kit, you have the audio track, accompaniment track, lead sheet, and the music video. The theme song becomes an important and worshipful part of the study experience.
Each chapter includes interactive questions for readers to answer, emphasizing God’s desire to reproduce the character and attitudes of Jesus in each Christian’s life. Along with the Bible study book, there is a Leader Kit that includes six DVD sessions and a CD with bonus material for small-group leaders.
If Jennifer has peaked your interest, you can find Set Apart and her other books at…
You can also find Jennifer at her website www.prayinglife.org