Sooner or later, we all come to know deep loss, grief, or trauma. In the #1 New York Times bestseller The Shack, now a major motion picture, author Wm. Paul Young stunned and inspired millions with a revolutionary look at great sadness through the eyes of the triune God.

Now he partners with seasoned psychiatrist, family therapist, and Sacred Space Ministries founder, Brad Robison, M.D., to offer readers an experiential guide to their own personal journey toward renewal after profound loss or pain. The Shack Study Guide is for anyone – individuals, families, professional counselors, pastors, or grief groups, to name a few – ready to courageously return to the place of their greatest loss in order to confront the truth of who God is and who they are.

With excerpts from The Shack, questions to guide personal reflection, and some instructions along the way, this one-of-a-kind guide invites you to join Mack and Papa on a healing journey. Why not begin your journey today?

The Shack Movie

How to Use the Guide

Thank you for your interest in this study guide, which we trust will serve as an experiential guide through a healing process in your life. We have all been touched in some way by the disease, dysfunction and destruction of the fallen world. We are all in need of healing and restoration. Every intentional movement toward wholeness is connected to relationship, to spiritual friendship, and to the discovery of the beauty God has created within you, within your humanity, and within your community.

This guide is meant to help you experience the presence of the triune God, not in some cathedral or stronghold of your own making, but in the shack of your deepest pain. It is there that you will be confronted and comforted with the real relational truth of who God is and who you are. It is there that you will find your way, in grace and truth, deeper into a life filled with healthy affiliations. The invitation is to exchange self-protective isolation for life-giving solitude and openness to community that will lead you to the festival of friends.

You can use this study guide in several ways. You can work through it on your own for personal healing, as a part of a small group/book club, or even during a weekend retreat. We are hearing wonderful stories from spiritual mentors and those they are mentoring as they use the study guide for a road map on their journey together. The chapter numbers and titles are identical to those found in the book, The Shack. For maximum benefit, you will read the chapter from The Shack, and then you will work your way through the corresponding chapter in this guide.

Many of the questions are personal, so if you use this guide in a group setting or on a retreat, remember that courtesy and mutual respect lay the foundation for any healthy group. A small group should be a safe place for all who participate. Respect the confidentiality of the person who is sharing, as it may be highly sensitive in nature and sometimes controversial. Small group intimacy is not fodder for gossip, but an invitation to participate in authentic community. A small group is not a place to tell others what they should have done or said or think, or to force opinions on others. Commit yourselves to listening to one another, be sensitive to all perspectives, and show others the grace you would like to receive yourself.

Remember, you or a group member may be carrying a “great sadness” from severe trauma or loss that happened in your “Shack”. As authors of this guide, we, but more importantly Papa, invite you to join Him on a healing journey through The Shack.

It’s been a while. I’ve missed you.
I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together.