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It can be tempting to think of the Bible as a list of rules and old stories, far disconnected from our everyday lives. But when we read the psalms, we find the entire spectrum of human emotion: grief, rejoicing, despair, melancholy, anxiety, hope, and everything in between. In this book of songs, God has given us permission and words for our deepest feelings.
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth recently filmed a daily devotional with our team, exploring the psalms in all of their beauty and emotional range. We caught up with Mary to hear her heart behind this devotional and hope for everyone who goes through it.
Mary: It was super peaceful. I really enjoyed getting to know all of the people on the team and learning about their roles. One of the things I just love is people! So having a bunch of people there was super helpful. What I loved is that they were very professional and very intentional about getting the right shots. And there was no stress, like, “Oh you made a mistake.” I was definitely more hard on myself while they were giving me grace. It was great—I had a really good time!
RightNow Media: What is one thing you learned while preparing for this series?
Mary: One of the topics I talk about in the series is the importance of lamenting. Every time I have taught lament psalms to a group of people, I have seen God do amazing work in their lives. So, relearning and reacquainting myself with the rhythm of lament was really helpful for me in my own lament journey. It allowed me to move beyond some grief I was holding onto.
RightNow Media: What is one thing you want viewers to walk away with after watching this series?
Mary: I guess I just want them to know that they are normal. To feel pain, grief, despair, or rejoicing is totally normal. The psalms exist to give words to whatever they are going through.
Click here to check out the Prayer and the Psalms devotional with Mary DeMuth on RightNow Media today.
In the book of Joshua, we get a front-row seat to the power of God as he led the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. By faith, Joshua and the Israelites overcame the challenges and obstacles they faced with the courage God supplied. And by faith, with God’s strength, we can overcome the challenges we face too.
In 2023, RightNow Media sent a film crew to Atlanta, Georgia to film The Book of Joshua with pastor Louie Giglio. The book of Joshua follows the people of God as they work to secure the land God had promised to them.
While filming, our team asked Louie a few questions about preparing for this series and his hopes for small groups.
Louie: I think one of the things that probably hit me the most preparing to teach through Joshua—and I mentioned it as we were moving through some of the early sessions—is just that Joshua was a man. And that’s important for me to remember, and for all of us to remember, we’re not looking at Bible characters. I was studying the other day about Lazarus, and we all know Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but he was about thirty years old when Jesus did that. And somehow, we have these “older Bible characters” and we don’t realize the disciples were twenty-somethings, and Lazarus was twenty-eight or twenty-nine or thirty. And Joshua was older when he was leading the people into the Promised Land, but he was just a human being. It’s like James reminding us that Elijah was a man like us, so I think I just saw through fresh eyes, through the book of Joshua, that this isn’t some superhero that just dropped down out of the Old Testament. But this is a guy of flesh and blood just like me, a person just like you, who is putting their trust in a supernatural source to do supernatural things.
Louie: My big hope for every one of us that’s in this series together is that we will walk away with confidence. I think the enemy, if he could do one thing for all of us, it would be to chip away at our confidence in God and, ultimately, our confidence in ourselves as God is choosing to lead us. Because this is an important time to be alive on planet Earth and God has incredible assignments for every person. Not just special people like Joshua, not just for the special people like Moses, but God has an assignment for every single one of us in our lives. And he’s got an assignment for you. And so, I hope, as you’re going through Joshua with us, that you will sense, “wow, there is a calling on my life. It’s not to be a preacher or a spiritual leader or someone like Joshua—it’s a calling to this particular place and time, and these people.” And that you will sense that there’s purpose in that. That you’re not just spending time on Earth, but you have an assignment on earth to lead people into the fullness of what God has created them for. And I hope everybody sees that and feels more confident about stepping into that. Because there’s probably a river in front of you—an obstacle between you and that calling—and God wants to show you in this series how to grow in your confidence in him so that you can become everything he’s called you to be.
Louie: I think one of the moments I’m going to always remember most about shooting this series is just the incredible team and incredible shoot. RightNow Media, they’re not wanting me probably to say this, but they’re the best team and working with them is always an incredible experience for me. And just their vision of wanting to build the church and serve people and see people grow in their faith and become more committed followers of Jesus, it really is inspiring. And it doesn’t feel like we’re just here with camera and lights and background, and we’re making a theme, it feels like there’s a collective heart in this room right now to want to serve people. And I think that’s going to be for me the most memorable thing about this. I stand in front of a lot of cameras, I stand under a lot of microphones, there are lights on me a lot of the time, and you can tell a difference when it’s a job and when people really want to see hearts change. And I know I came here today because I have the honor and privilege of being on a journey with people to see their lives change, and see my life change, as we’re in this Word together, and I really believe that all the people in this room with me right now have that same heart. And that’s what makes a shoot like this enjoyable, but it also makes it satisfying and meaningful. And I’ve loved being a part of this journey together.
Many times, we approach the Bible to get new information about God. There is nothing wrong with that, but God tells us about himself so that we can know him, not just so we can stockpile trivia about him.
Author and speaker Francis Chan accompanied our team to the Utah wilderness to film Jesus’s Farewell Message, a deep dive into Jesus’s last sermon before his crucifixion. In this series, Francis examines what it means to know and trust God deeply. God has far more for us than many of us dare imagine.
While filming, our team asked Francis about his experience filming this new series.
Francis: I learned so many things while preparing for this series. One is just the shallowness of my thoughts. I focus on this low level instead of all I have in Jesus. Like, I know him, and I have for years, but the depth of what it means to know him . . . it’s so hard to explain because it’s not new information but a depth in my knowledge of God.
Francis: I sure hope that [for] everyone who watches this that it doesn’t end here. Where [they say], “I need to experience this oneness with God!” That it actually takes them somewhere. It’s got to be more than [learning] information.
Francis: It’s pretty fascinating just looking at a place I’ve never been—all the ridiculous rock formations and different terrain. But the quietness has been my favorite. I just realized how seldomly I hear quiet in my life. With where I go and the things I do, it was just nice to be in a place where you heard nothing.
It’s no overstatement to say that we are more distracted now than we’ve ever been. The “chaos machine” in our pockets constantly diverts our attention away from what matters, gluing our eyes to the things that don’t. And with our attention goes our focus.
Addressing this very topic, New York Times bestselling author and speaker Jon Acuff recently filmed a new series with our team entitled Focus: In a World of Bottomless Distractions and Endless Opportunities. We caught up with Jon to hear what he learned while preparing this series and his hope for those who go through it.
Jon: One thing I learned is how distracted we all are. I like to say that our distraction technology has outpaced our ability to focus. Think about how fast distraction has scaled. I mean, twenty years ago the only distraction I had on my phone was a game called snake. I don’t know if you’re my age, but it just was a line that went “doot, doot, doot, doot, doot.” Now, you have every movie ever made, every book ever written, and every podcast ever recorded in your pocket. You have a chaos machine in your pocket. So, it was really interesting to learn—that’s part of why it’s challenging. You shouldn’t feel bad that it’s hard to focus; the odds are stacked against you because of our technology. But there are some really simple things you can do, and that’s what was so fun about filming this series.
Jon: I want viewers to walk away with the idea that you can learn how to focus. It’s not a personality trait. It’s not something that some people are good at and others are bad. When you talk to people about, “Is it easy for you to focus?” or “Do you ever get distracted?” sometimes they make identity statements. They say, “I’m a really distracted person. I can never focus,” as if they can’t learn. But the one thing I want you to walk away with is you can learn, and there’s some very practical things you can do that are actually really fun. And you get to see pretty quick progress. So I want you to walk away with the idea that you can do it and that there’s things you can do.
Jon: My most memorable moment of any series—we’ve done because we’ve done three together (so, I know I’m talking about Focus, but we’ve done Soundtracks and Finish)—my most memorable moment was where I got to the shoot and there was a cliff. They had set up the shoot on the edge of a cliff that was three-hundred feet high, overlooking a river, and there was a rock that was, in my opinion, very close to the edge of the cliff. And they said, “Hey, we just want you to stand on this rock, it’ll be an amazing shot.” And I said, “What’s your second idea?” Because I talk with my hands, I move around a lot, I’m very animated. So, I said, “There’s no way I’m getting on that rock.” So, if you watch that video, I’m perched on the rock. I’m sitting on the rock, that was our compromise, but I’m kind of looking over my shoulder. That was the most memorable. The second was, we filmed in Nissan Titan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, where I live. And it was an amazing shot, and they had a drone, and it was just gorgeous. So, I love partnering with RightNow because they always do such beautifully well-thought-out work.
At RightNow Media, our goal is to provide churches and their members with access to a library curated with the latest teaching for women’s Bible studies from trusted teachers. Through licensed content and our partnership with IF:Gathering, we have thousands of Bible studies for women. Here are five video Bible studies that are perfect for your women’s Bible study—and don't forget to check out the women's Bible study roadmap to follow along with throughout the year.
God never called us to be nice. We live in a culture that prizes niceness as one of its highest virtues. Niceness keeps the peace, wins friends, gains influence and serves our reputations well. But it can also take the teeth out of the power of our faith. In this five-session series, Sharon Hodde Miller explores the seemingly innocent idol that has crept into our faith and quietly corrupted it and the fruits we bear. Cultivate a better “tree” and reclaim your credibility as a follower of Christ.
Miracles of Jesus explores all four Gospels with teaching from Jennie Allen, Bianca Olthoff, Jada Edwards, and Sadie Robertson. Discover the ways Jesus healed, provided for, calmed, and resurrected the people he encountered. This seven-session study is about believing in the power of God who can accomplish anything. There’s nothing too big or too small for us to bring to him.
We often believe that when we follow Jesus, life should get easier. And when it doesn’t, we dell ourselves we’re failing or stuck or abandoned by God. But this simply isn’t true. In this six-part series, Nicole Unice explores why life’s a struggle and what to do about it. With God as the hero of the story, a hard day has a new meaning. Our lives can be defined by redemption instead of struggle.
How natural is generosity to who you are? The Bible has a lot to say about hospitality, generosity, and stewardship. We have a cloud of witnesses globally, nationally, and locally who provide incredible testimonies of generosity. Tethered to biblical accounts of giving, this six-session series with author and speaker Ann Voskamp explores examples of offering hospitality, time, money, spiritual gifts, and empathy to the glory of God.
Let’s be honest: the life you lead isn’t what you’ve always dreamt. You can scrub the surface of your life until it gleams and still never address the fact that somehow you lost sight of who you really are and what you’re living for. In this six-session Bible study, author and speaker Jo Saxton examines biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites you to turn to the one who knows you intimately and loves you deeply.
Scripture repeatedly tells us that God walks with us through the fire—strengthening and refining us—as opposed to yanking us from it. And if there is any entity in the United States that has exemplified what it means to remain resilient in the face of obstacles, it is the Black Church.
Resilience means having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty—the ability to spring back into shape. And over the past 400 years, Black people have found ways to not only recover from the ramifications of slavery but thrive and keep the faith. Recently, I watched the AND Campaign’s How I Got Over, a five-part documentary series on the history of the Black Church. They highlight how the Black Church has shown resilience through a long history of obstacles. Let’s look at three examples from their series of ways the Black Church has exemplified what it means to never give up on God.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”—Booker T. Washington
The documentary discusses the founding of The Black Church and its many denominations. The Black Church at its conception began because of longstanding racism and segregation—even within Christian institutions. The first Black denomination (AME) was created because white Christians refused to worship alongside Black Christians. And instead of using their rejection as a reason to give up on God, Black Christians showed resilience by clinging to their convictions and pursuing him further.
It would have been easy for any of them to give up—to decide that choosing a different God or a different faith would be more liberating. But when they decided to form their own denominations to continue their worship, they not only displayed God’s impact in their lives, but also revealed a conviction in their hearts that kept them moving toward the cross instead of running from it. They created and sang Negro Spirituals. They formed new churches. They embraced the stories of deliverance, justice, and freedom found in Scripture.
They kept going.
“When the Black Church at its best is the public face of the witness of love and justice, it will be targeted.” —Cornel West
In How I Got Over, we also learn about the significance of the Black Church in the civil rights movement and how Black leaders used their faith in Christ to influence the secular world. Justin Giboney says in this episode, “For Black Church leaders, the gospel was more than a call to action—it was the theme music of the civil rights movement.”
The civil rights movement not only depended on the Black Church but also made huge progress because of it. The church served as a launching pad for many leaders, groups, and rallies. Going to church wasn’t just for spiritual nourishment in this era—political meetings happened at church, resources were mobilized there, and rallies and marches set their meeting points at churches. In addition, Black clergy and church leaders were some of the first Black people to hold positions in government. Black preachers served as politicians, and Black Christians, like Fannie Lou Hamer, fought against voter suppression motivated by strong biblical convictions.
Even though the public witness of Black Christians sparked more obstacles—like the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama in 1963 and many others like it—they harnessed their righteous anger to remain resilient, which eventually resulted in successes like the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Black Christian leaders knew that there was no need to separate the message of the gospel from the fight for justice and equality because taking the gospel seriously and standing on authoritative, biblical ideals meant standing against oppression and racism.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
How I Got Over highlights a few of the different ways that the Black Church opened doors for educational opportunities in the Black community. I don’t know about you but I love school. And being a Black woman, I frequently find myself thanking God for the opportunity to learn from prestigious institutions because I know that it’s due to the determination of those who came before me. Education for Black people was illegal and dangerous for most of American history. And yet, despite being pushed out of opportunities left and right, they prevailed.
One of the main priorities that Black people pursued after emancipation was their education. And during this time, the Black Church provided opportunities for the Black community to learn in a safe and familiar environment. Over time, they were able to advance through the educational system and take advantage of vocational schools, colleges, and graduate schools.
Black people had the determination to take back their dignity and become educated members of society. They used the forced segregation from schools and educational systems to their advantage, creating and funding their own schools, universities, and carving out ways to educate themselves and prove those in power wrong.
All in all, the Black Church has contributed to the faith in many ways, but more than anything, the Black Church is an example of resilience despite the odds set against it. As believers, we know that God has called us to endure, and for the Black Church, endurance is at the foundation of its existence and the reason why it continues to thrive.
Our production team holds themselves to a high standard of excellence. They work hard to find the best locations, the best teachers, and to film exciting and insightful content for your church and small groups. But every shoot has its own unique challenges and, sometimes, things don’t go exactly to plan.
While filming our upcoming series The Acts of the Apostles, our team and pastor Louie Giglio had to deal with unexpected weather changes and rogue tow trucks during a marathon two days of shooting. We caught up with Louie Giglio to learn about his experience filming this study, what God taught him while preparing his teaching, and his prayer for everyone who goes through this study of Acts.
Louie: It was your typical “I am doing something that is going to make a difference in the kingdom” experience. We recorded in an old factory in Atlanta—metal roof, open spaces, and open-air in many ways. The temperature inside was the same as the temperature outside and the beautiful weather we had the week before had turned into forty-nine degrees and pouring down rain. So, for two days, the amazing RightNow Media team shot this thing under not-the-best conditions.
We got one shot going, it was happening, we were rolling, and a guy comes driving up through the shot! His headlights were shining behind me right into the camera. A tow truck—because some people who had been at the building a few days before left a rental car there—came driving through the shot. I was talking about how the gospel is going to go to the ends of the world and he stops in the shot and starts to back up! BEEP BEEP BEEP. It was like, “Cut. Let’s start over. Hey, can you get your car and go, please?”
But that’s what it’s like when you are shooting one of these Bible studies. When you’re watching it, it’s so put together; the team does an amazing job! But it is a hustle to shoot because the enemy doesn’t want this message to get out. And we’re shooting this in the wild, so you never know what the next distraction will be.
It was like that for two straight days, but props to the RightNow Media team! They’re the best, they did a fantastic job. We had a bond like a family after going through a book like Acts. It was a family event. God was in it. I felt like I had run a marathon after the second day, but it was worth it!
Louie: I love the story of Acts because it’s our story. We are still living in the story of Acts. One of the things that really stuck out to me was as Paul was on his way to Rome—there was a shipwreck, a storm, they were wrecked on the island of Malta—the Bible says everyone was accounted for. Luke, who was writing this, says there were 276 people and they were all accounted for. God is writing a big global story, but he also knows every single one of us. We are all accounted for, and we all have a role in taking the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
Louie: You know, the place where we filmed this series was a working factory about a hundred years ago. On either side of the factory was a huge building with multiple train tracks going into it. Then there was another huge building on another side with lots of tracks leading into it. A small channel with a single set of tracks connected all the buildings. I don’t know what they made at this factory, but a train came into one building, a cart took something from that train across to the factory. Then, whatever they made, was taken from the factory to a departing train and sent away. Everything was connected.
As we shot, I thought, “That’s Acts. We are standing in Acts!” God brings the gospel to us in multiple tracks and stories, the gospel changes us, then he takes us somewhere else in the world to people who need to hear that story.
The takeaway from that story is that you are in Acts. It is not just about Peter, Stephen, Paul, Lydia, or all the churches that were planted. The Acts of the Apostles are still in motion taking the story of Jesus to all people. The gospel spread from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and now to the ends of the earth. We are in Acts.
At RightNow Media, our goal is to provide churches and student ministries with access to a library curated with the latest teaching for youth Bible studies from premier teachers. Including series like Not A Fan: Teen Edition by Kyle Idleman and a number of RightNow Media Originals, we have thousands of options for your Bible study. Here are five video Bible studies that are perfect for your youth group or student ministry—plus check out our youth Bible study roadmap to make curriculum planning a breeze.
Christians today face all kinds of challenges when it comes to understanding who they are and what they’re meant to do. There’s no shortage of options that claim to offer “truth.” If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves chasing after popular opinion all the while neglecting the unchanging truth found in Scripture. In this four-session youth Bible study, pastor and author Francis Chan invites students into the power that comes from anchoring their identity in Christ.
Today’s world tells teens to walk around life with a mirror in front of their face. They question their looks, persona, and acceptance nonstop, thinking that one more post on social media might gain people’s attention. But God offers an alternative mirror. When God rules over our lives, he flips everything upside down. In this youth Bible study, Jonathan Evans will walk students through the parables in Luke to teach what it looks like for God to rule our lives.
Teenagers often feel trapped. They’re stuck in the same habits, depression sets in, and they wonder about their purpose. The lie that nothing will ever change pulls teenagers deeper into the rut. But Jesus offers us a way out. In this four-part youth Bible study, Nick Hall talks to students about how a relationship with Jesus changes everything—our identity, relationships, habits, and mission.
Have you ever felt stuck? Sometimes life feels rigid—as if nothing could ever really change. Maybe we’re afraid of taking a step of faith. Or maybe we’re too injured from the past to move forward. No matter where you find yourself, you can make the most of today. In this inspirational series, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow shares stories from his life to illustrate what it means to seize each day for God’s glory.
What do you want to be when you grow up? It was an easy question to answer when they were little, but life gets complicated for teen girls. When they get stuck in drama, discontentment, sadness, and shame, how can they even begin to look ahead to the future? In this four-part Bible study, Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering, inspires teen girls to throw off everything that holds them back and be energized by God’s dream for them. Dreaming big starts now.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul gives readers the most in-depth, comprehensive explanation of the gospel in all of Scripture, showing us what it looks like to live according to the good news. And this good news is better than we could have imagined.
We sent a film crew with pastor J.D. Greear to Rome, Italy to film The Book of Romans: Part 1 and Part 2, a series examining one of the most important books ever written on the Christian faith. In this series, J.D. helps us see just how good the gospel really is. It exceeds all our expectations.
While filming, our team asked J.D. a few questions about preparing for this series and his hopes for small groups.
J.D.: One distinctive thing I think I re-learned as I was prepping for this series is just the distinctive message of grace that the gospel offers. The power of grace to transform our lives. Especially being on location here in Rome where you’re associated with so many different symbols of religion, and all the works-righteousness that goes into religion, and people doing things to try to earn God’s favor. Paul’s message in Romans is [righteousness] is a gift. Righteousness is not a standard that we obtain to; it’s a gift that God gives us. And then in response to that, out of love, we serve God, and we serve others. The power of the gospel, it was renewed in me, rekindled in me, not only as I studied and prepared for this but as I actually taught through it as well.
J.D.: One of the things I think I’m hoping—I’ve been hoping and praying for out of this study—is that this study of the book of Romans, which is one of the deepest and richest looks at the gospel anywhere in Scripture, would have this effect of not only getting us excited about the gospel and transforming our relationships but just burning in our hearts until we have to tell others. The gospel is kind of like a spiritual tornado, it never pulls you in without also wanting to thrust you back out. And so, I think just pressing into the beauties of God’s grace, it just does something to you that changes you so that you not only treat people differently and think about yourself differently, you just find yourself having to talk to other people about the things that you’re learning.
J.D.: So, the most memorable moment, spiritually, is probably going to be down in Paul’s prison. When we’re pretty sure it is the actual cell he stood in before he was executed, and just to think about that—that was amazing. I loved filming from there. You know, always my favorite memories with this are slow walking with Will (Senior Producer at RightNow Media). Just to follow me around with a camera, and just to kind of zoom in on my feet and to make me really self-conscious about my posture, "Am I walking crooked?" So, that definitely is what I’ll take away. Will’s got a special place in my heart.
We live in a time where isolation feels more comfortable than living in community. We are used to living alone, running errands alone, and not sharing our hopes or fears with many people. But God never intended us to be secluded from one another.
Author and speaker Jennie Allen dug deep into God’s vision for community while writing her book Find Your People, which she recently developed into a series with the team at RightNow Media. We caught up with Jennie after filming to hear her hope for the series and how living in community has changed her life.
Jennie: The RightNow Media team—they are my people! So many of them are my good friends. We’ve worked together for many, many years. I feel like I can call Phil (VP of Production) with any idea and he’s like, “Let’s go, J!”
Phil has put together such an amazing team of people. Mark (Video Producer) has spent so many hours on my stuff; Courtney (Senior Producer) is awesome—I just feel like everybody has been so gracious and kind to let me build with them.
RightNow Media is a family and I feel like I’m the adopted member of that family (laughs). I’m really grateful that they create with me. I hope that the series we make causes you to love God more—they hope that too. It’s really special and fun that we get to be creative in a way that helps people get to know God better.
Jennie: Wow—it has been a two-year journey for me, which is how working on a book or Bible study goes. But this one has changed every single thing about me—the way I live, the way I think about friendship, the way I eat, the way I run errands. Everything about me is about pulling people in and not doing anything alone.
Even this project, I feel, was a big group project. Being on set with the big locations felt like being with family. Some bad things happened to me that week, and we were all crying together in a bowling alley, praying for my family. That is the way we were meant to live. We aren’t meant to cry alone. We’re meant to cry in each other’s arms and in each other’s presence.
My hope for this series is that it will cause you to rethink hiding anything, that you will live fully known, seen, and connected to others.
Jennie: I hope people walk away from this series with friends. I think we are doing life in a more isolated way than we ever have before. The scary part of that, as a generation, is we were already doing life more isolated than any generation before us. We already had a problem, then COVID-19 and the last couple of years exacerbated the problem.
I hope that viewers don’t feel any pressure when they watched the series. I hope that when you are working through the series a desire rises up within you—a vision and a dream for the way God meant for us to live. This series is all about building a foundation in your life for community that is different from the way we live right now in America.
This study has changed my life. I can’t imagine living any differently. I have a village; I have my people. It’s messy and imperfect, but it is a better, more rich and full way to live.