Jennifer Kennedy Dean is Executive director of The Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation. Her book Heart’s Cry has been named National Day of Prayer’s signature book. You’ll find articles and daily quotes from Jennifer at the National Day of Prayer website. Her book, Live a Praying Life, has been called a flagship work on prayer.
Jennifer was widowed in 2005 after 26 years of marriage to Wayne Dean, her partner both in life and ministry. They are the parents of three grown sons. Jennifer makes her home in Marion, KY.
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 Set Apart 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.
About the Book:
(Marion, Kentucky) – In a world of self-love and materialism it’s reassuring to know that God’s Word has a better plan for living. Renowned author and speaker, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, provides insight to the life of Christ, specifically the Sermon on
the Mount, in her new book, Set Apart: A 6 Week Study of the Beatitudes.
Through careful study of the Hebrew traditions of biblical times, Dean leads participants into a deeper awareness of this early ministry sermon series by Christ.
Jennifer guides readers to a heightened understanding of each beatitude, correlating the Ten Commandments with the Sermon on the Mount to tie these Old and New Testament principles together. Dean shares how living the Set Apart Life is an exciting and life-changing spiritual journey. Participants surrendered to Christ will see a total transformation: outward actions of holiness as well as inward attitudes of joy. Believers following along in this workbook will experience the life God intends. This blessedness comes from seeking and knowing God. Anything outside the realm of Jesus Christ results in emptiness–the ultimate opposite of blessing.
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. Jennifer’s website, www.prayinglife.org, provides opportunities for previewing the Set Apart materials and extra resources for pastors and leaders.