What does a Passion Pursuit study look like? How do I run one?

The ideal small group size is 8–12 women. At the minimum, you’ll need ten, two-hour sessions to complete the study in your group. If you can, please try to add an 11th week to provide incentive to complete the 10th week of homework but, more importantly, to celebrate and share what God has done. We have seen women get very creative in how they do these groups! The typical group will meet once a week in person, but we have seen online groups, groups that meet once a month, and even one on one mentoring groups. Some churches have had 10 Passion Pursuit groups meeting at the same time all over the church, and others have asked a few leaders to facilitate a group our of their home. It’s up to you! Here is the suggested format for each meeting:

 

  • 10 minutes—Icebreaker question and prayer. Each week there will be a suggested icebreaker question that you may want to use to help your group ease into conversation.
  • 50 minutes—Guided discussion of the homework/workbook questions.
  • 40–45 minutes—watch the video for next session.
  • 10 minutes—Wrap-up and prayer.

These are just suggestions. Ask God to show you the best format for your unique group.

 Am I qualified to be a leader?

You might be wondering, “What qualifies me to lead a Bible study on sex?” Rest assured, you don’t have to be a psychologist or sex therapist, nor do you need to have all the answers. You don’t have to be an expert—we’ve done the teaching for you on the DVDs. But there are a few things we would ask of you to help you be prepared to guide women through this study.

 

  • A commitment that God’s Word is the standard of truth- We all have opinions about sex but this material is based on God’s opinion.
  • A heart for God’s women- As you know, talking about sex is sensitive and may bring up painful or embarrassing issues. This study is about more than what is taught; it invites women to trust the Lord with their pain.
  • A humble spirit- Although we have been teaching on sex for decades, we are still growing in the wisdom and freedom God gives. It’s okay to let the ladies you lead know that you are still learning and growing too.
  • Knowledge of the material- One woman who has lead Passion Pursuit put it this way: “I am so glad that I went through Passion Pursuit before leading it and had the big picture of what’s addressed. When a woman asked a question about pornography in session 3, I could tell her to hang on until we learned about it in chapter 7.”

 This is a pretty sensitive topic. Are there any guidelines for running a Passion Pursuit group?

You’re right! How does a small group talk about sex together? Very sensitively and with discretion. In order for your small group to be a safe and effective environment, ask everyone in your group to commit to these 8 guidelines:

 

  1. Keep the focus of the study centered on God. Share what you are learning about God and His perspective on the sexual relationship or what God is personally teaching you.
  2. Under no circumstances should you share with others intimate details about you and your husband’s sexual relationship. No one should ever be able to visualize you and your husband in bed. It would be wise to reassure your husband of your commitment to keep your sexual relationship private.
  3. You can share anything about yourself as a wife but you cannot share anything about your husband—unless it is positive! No negative or embarrassing comments about husbands are allowed.
  4. All discussions are to be kept confidential.
  5. Keep your focus on what changes you need to make, not on those your husband needs to make.
  6. No one will be asked to talk about anything that makes her feel uncomfortable.
  7. Each wife will commit to the ten-week period.
  8. Expect to have fun, grow, and be amazed at God and His beautiful plan for intimacy!

During Week 1 we repeat these guidelines and will ask you to print them out for your group; read them to your group in your first meeting and reinforce them along the way. One savvy group leader suggested to her ladies that they glue them to the inside of the back cover of their workbook!

 

 Do I have to buy the DVD or can I just go through the workbook?

We would describe this ‚Äč10-week study as a DVD & Workbook curriculum. The two work together! How the study works is you start by watching a 30-45 minute clip of Juli & Linda teaching on the topic. You then follow up with 5 days of homework. If you simply do the workbook, you won’t go through and think “I think I’m missing something”. However, if you watch the DVD you will hear stories from Linda & Juli that really help take each chapter a step deeper and hear teaching form the Word. If you want the full Passion Pursuit experience, we would suggest the DVD as well.

 How do I bring this to my church?

Each church and community is a little unique. Here are some ideas we have seen work well around the world.

 

  • Take the Authentic Intimacy website and Passion Pursuit study to your women’s ministry director or pastor. Share your excitement for this study and why you would like to see it offered at your church.
  • Go through the study yourself! Start with a small group of women you are connected with. Once you have seen the impact on those lives, you will have more women on board and excited to bring it your church.

Bring Juli & Linda in to launch this movement in your community. If you live in area with some larger churches, we would love to come out and do a Passion Pursuit launch. We did this in Akron, Ohio and had women from 20 different churches in the area come who are now leading Passion Pursuit groups.

question mark Is this only for married women? Or can single and engaged women go through it?

The conversation and teaching center around marriage and talk to wives specifically. However, you may have single women who really want to understand God’s perspective of sex. In our pilot study, we had a few single women who had been through difficult marriages and found Passion Pursuit to be a source of healing.

Throughout the workbook and DVD you will hear questions about their husbands and challenge women to think about their marriage. As long as single women understand that this material wouldn’t be 100% applicable to them right away, they would greatly benefit from going through it. We have countless married women go through this material and say “Why didn’t I know this before I was married?” One of our single friends who went through Passion Pursuit said “I felt like a squirrel gathering up nuts for the winter. I can’t use all this information now but it will come in great use when I get married”.

 Can I go through this study with my husband?

We wrote this study for women! As you flip through the pages of the workbook and watch the DVD, the questions, challenges, and teachings are all geared to wives. If a couple would like to go through this together, we would encourage the husband to give his wife the space she asks for. For example, some sections of the book or questions she may not yet be ready to talk with her husband about. We have seen many couples watch the DVDs together, and then the wife will talk about certain sections homework with her spouse throughout the week. However, we would encourage every woman going through Passion Pursuit to talk with her husband about what she is learning! This Bible study has opened up a lot of conversation between spouses and brought couples closer through intimacy and through conversations.

 Do I have to share all about my sex life?

This is actually one of our eight guidelines for a Passion Pursuit group! Under no circumstances should you (or anyone in the group) share with others intimate details about you and your husband’s sexual relationship. No one should ever be able to visualize you and your husband in bed. It would be wise to reassure your husband of your commitment to keep your sexual relationship private. However, being a part of a Passion Pursuit will require some vulnerability. Will you be willing to share with the group what God is teaching you?