Next up on my stack of small group studies to review is You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are, a new study for women by Rebekah Lyons. Lyons is probably best known as the co-founder of Q Ideas (with her husband Gabe), a non-profit that convenes and equips Christians to influence culture. She’s also a best-selling author and I think with You Are Free will become best known for that.
(From the cover) You Are Free will help you:
- Overcome the exhaustion of meeting others expectations and rest in the joy of God’s freedom.
- Release stress and anxiety to uncover the peace that comes from abiding in God’s presence.
- Find permission to grieve past disappointments and find strength in your journey toward healing.
- Throw off self-condemnation, masks of perfection, and step boldly into God’s purpose for you.
- Discover the courage to begin again and use your newfound freedom to set others free.
A DVD-driven study, You Are Free features Rebekah Lyon’s teaching in 6 video segments. Teaching, though, I think gives the wrong idea. The DVD segments really have the feel that you’re listening to a new friend spill her guts and be completely honest about something very personal that radically changed her life. If this is your first time to read her books or hear her speak, your experience will begin like new friendships always do: just a little awkward, for about 2 or 3 minutes. And then by the end session one you begin to feel that you’ve always known her and can’t wait to hear more.
The study guide (written with Annie Downs) includes many of the elements that are now customary. A fairly robust video viewing guide (complete with notes and quotes that will help you follow along. A set of well-written discussion questions. An individual activity (becoming more and more common) that will help members immediately apply the teaching. Also included in the study guide is a personal study to be completed between sessions. The personal study will take some investment, but with a little discipline will deliver a big payoff every week.
Based on Lyons’ best-selling book by the same title, there are recommended readings every week (helpful, but not essential).
This is a powerful study. If you’re looking for a study that will resonate with women who don’t yet have it all together (and who isn’t?), please take a look at You Are Free. I highly recommend it!