Spent some time with a new study from LifeWay this week. Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free, a DVD-driven study by Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin), senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, is a six session study on a very timely topic.
Full disclosure, it sat in my stack to review for several months. I didn’t look at it because who wants to hear about suffering? You know what I found? Suffering is much more than the big things in life. It’s unavoidable and in the mundane things, the day to day things, as well.
With the Old Testament book of Job as anchor and backdrop, the DVD segments and study guide take participants through a reassuring and hope-filled look at God’s promises and provision.
The topics covered include:
- The Reality of Suffering
- Moralizing Suffering
- Minimizing Suffering
- The Freedom of Defeat
- The Gospel of Suffering
- Weighty Mercies
Anchored by DVD-driven teaching, Glorious Ruin is very compelling. There is a reason Tchividjian is a popular conference speaker. The grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham, he has an intensity that pulls the viewer in immediately and holds in rapt attention. Teaching segments of 8 to 10 minutes combined with a set of very personal and powerful testimonies illustrate and drive home the concept.
The study guide is pitched just about right for a group looking for a little bit of a challenge. By no means overwhelming, each segment includes enough content to drive the topic deeply into the lives of participants. Each session of the study guide includes:
- a short segment to be read in advance
- a well thought out opening question that primes the pump for a great discussion
- a note-taking page for viewing the DVD segment
- a Bible study section that takes the study deeply into scripture
- a personal time section that provides for further study and reflection through the following week
A basic leader guide is included on the DVD, as well as a church-wide campaign overview and guide. In addition, you’ll find artwork and other promotional helps on the DVD.
Glorious Ruin will help group members wrestle with and understand suffering in a way that will be personally reassuring. At the same time, I can imagine group members leaving the study with something way beyond personal reassurance; a kind of confidence that will unleash a rising tide of influence in the lives of their families, friends and neighbors. Glorious Ruin might be the secret ingredient your groups need to truly impact their world.