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Suffering. One of the greatest questions of all time. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for individual’s faith. Based on the film Acts Of God this small group study dives deep into the question, “If God is good why does he allow so much suffering and pain?” Join with Pastor Bob Russell as you explore suffering and pain from a Biblical perspective. Using the story of Joseph, and many more examples, the Acts Of God Small Group Study will help viewers gain insight into one of the toughest questions in faith, and leave full of faith, hope, and trust.
One stormy night the lives of seven individuals are changed forever. When a tragic accident takes an innocent life, seven people suddenly find their lives intertwined as they all search for answers. “If God was good why would he do this?” “Why does he allow suffering?” As they each battle with their own bitterness, anger, doubt, and fear they find hope and answers through the faith of those around them. The film Acts Of God from City On A Hill Productions, reminds viewers of all ages that all God’s acts are good because they are all motivated by his unshakable love.
The small group study which is based upon the film Acts Of God dives deeper into the difficult question, “What about suffering?” Featuring pieces of the film, as well as discussion with Pastor Bob Russell, the Acts Of God Small Group Study dives deep into the Word of God, using film as a medium, to come to understand God’s heart and truth around suffering. With themes such as forgiveness, trust, strength, peace, and most importantly God’s never ending love the Acts Of God Small Group Study takes a head on approach to understanding God’s heart and truth around the stumbling block to many believers and unbelievers-- suffering.
As a young man growing up in Pennsylvania, Bob Russell would have never imagined being a pastor. The young boy was raised in a Christian home, but his highest aspiration was to become a basketball coach-- you can not get much further from preaching than basketball. Yet, God had different plans for the sport crazy boy. During his senior year of high school, Bob realized that God was calling him to ministry. So, the man behind the study and film Acts Of God put away his own dream to live God’s. After attending Cincinatti Bible Seminary Bob Russell became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky at the young age of twenty-two. The small congregation of 120 members quickly grew to the large 18,000 that attended every week when Bob retired in 2006. Now, through his ministry Bob Russell continues to preach at churches across America, speaks at conferences and mentors several other pastors. In addition to these engagements, Bob Russell has written over a dozen books, and created several video Bible study series such as Acts Of God Small Group Study. Bob continues to live with his wife Judy in Kentucky. Their older son serves with his family as a pastor in Florida, while their son works in the Louisville Police Department. When Bob is not traveling the country speaking or authoring books, he loves to spend time with his family.
Though the Acts Of God Small Group Study is based off of the film, and features Bob Russell, the study is still very much Biblically grounded and based. As Bob helps guide viewers through the question, “What about suffering?” he will often return to the word of God for answers. In addition, the Acts Of God Small Group Study takes a close look at the life of Joseph, found in the Old Testament. This study of Joseph’s life parallels nicely with the question of suffering, and viewers will begin to understand God’s heart and purpose behind the difficulties and sorrows of life.
The Acts Of God Small Group Study is created for small groups. The six video lessons featuring Bob Russell are half an hour each, and are perfect to start your time together. A leader’s guide is also included which will help facilitate meaningful discussion. The Acts Of God Small Group Study is not designed to be the start and end of the gathering, but rather something to get the conversation started, and to point viewer’s hearts back to God. Though the Acts Of God Small Group Study is designed for small group use, it could easily be used as a couple or family (although some issues may not be suitable for young children). No matter how you use the Acts Of God Small Group Study, you will be faced with the difficult question of suffering, and equipped with the tools to find answers. As you walk through the study, through the life of Joseph, you will find hope. Most importantly, you will come to understand that even in the pain God is constant, that even in sorrow his love is never ending, and that even in the darkness he can be trusted. As the Acts Of God Small Group Study weaves together the film with the word of God, viewers will be entertained and challenged to seek out God’s heart behind suffering and pain.
The film Acts Of God which the small group study was based on has not been rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. This film received the “Family Approved” award for ages twelve and up from the Dove Foundation. As always, it is recommend that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children.
The Acts Of God Small Group Study includes:
- A DVD tutorial for Small Group leaders
- Six half hour episodes on DVD
- A Leader’s Guide to facilitate small group discussions and gatherings
-One copy of the participant’s guide
If God is good, why does he allow so much pain?