Making disciples who make disciples is Jesus' plan to reach the world, but how do we do that? Discipleship Groups are the most effective tool we've found to help people at all levels of experience or ability to get into the game and make disciples. D-Groups provide a simple, replicatable plan for disciple making that leads to growth, accountability, and multiplication.
A Discipleship Group (D-Group) is made up of 3-5 men or women committed to 12 months (some groups meet for 3 months and some up to 18 months) of intense spiritual growth. Through daily reading, journaling, accountability, and weekly fellowship, the D-Group is intentional about growing and applying the Word to their lives. The ultimate goal of the D-Group is multiplication; realized when each member sets out (individually or in pairs) to replicate the group, inviting new men or women to take this discipleship journey with them and one day replicate the process themselves.
BIG PROBLEMS, ONE SIMPLE SOLUTION
Two of the biggest barriers to growth in the church are a lack of Biblical engagement and a lack of authentic accountability. Without these two things - personal Bible reading and accountable relationships - most of us will eventually stall in our spiritual growth. D-Groups solve this problem! The greatest benefit of a D-Group is the plan and accountability it provides to help get people into the Word and keep them in the Word until the Word gets into them.
D-Groups also give us a replicable plan for making disciples. When people don't know what to do, they often don't do anything at all. Though we know our mission is to make disciples who make disciple makers, we just haven't been shown how to do it. and that lack of a plan keeps us inactive and ineffective. In D-Groups, we have a simple plan and repeatable process that anyone can follow to facilitate a group that leads to personal growth and multiplication!
Healthy D-Groups find ways to meet regularly in places where they can form meaningful gospel relationships and they spur each other on toward sharing the gospel and making disciples.
Healthy D-Groups foster authentic, honest, accountable relationships and hold members accountable to both their personal growth and to apply what they're learning.
Healthy D-Groups begin with the end in mind. From the beginning, their goal is to replicate the process at the end of the year by sending out each group member to start new D-Groups. This is possible because of the simple to replicate components of D-Groups.
Healthy D-Groups are a community that practices the "one another's" of Scripture. They text throughout the week, meet weekly, and build Christ-centered friendships.
Healthy D-Groups have as their text book, the Bible. There are tons of studies that teach us a lot about the Word but don't teach us how to engage the Word and hear from God on our own.
We believe that the Word of God and the Spirit of God are more than enough to do the work of God through the people of God!
The Bible is our curriculum in D-Groups. The transformation of our minds that happens when we read the Word leads to the changing of our hearts and lives. Being part of a group that is committed to the same Bible reading plan insures that transformation takes place.
The F-260 plan is the reading plan we recommend because it takes you chronologically through the Bible covering the major redemptive story line of Scripture in a way that is challenging, yet not overwhelming. Using this plan, you will read and keep a H.E.A.R. Journal through one to two chapters each week day, sharing those journal entries via text with your D-Groups to hold each member accountable to the plan. By staying in touch daily and sharing your journals, you don't have to wait a week for the group meeting to see who is keeping up. You will know who is reading each day, and chances are, that daily reminder will translate into everyone in the group reading daily! That's a huge win that happens before we even meet, and a great help for those of us who struggle with self-discipline.
You can click this link to download the reading plan:
Learn to "HEAR" From God
God wrote a book and He is waiting to speak to us through His Word whenever we are ready to take the time to prayerfully open it, read it, and hear from Him. By HEAR journaling through the Word, we're learning how to get the most from our time in God's Word.
The HEAR Journal Method
HEAR stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply, and Respond. Your journal entries will be unique to you and will reflect your personality and learning style, but the format will help you to understand and apply God's Word like never before! After you read, share your journal with your group to keep each other accountable. The great by-product of sharing your journals with your group, in addition to accountability, are the new truths and applications you'll get in the text from the others in your group.
Sample HEAR Journal
READ: Genesis 3 TITLE: The Fall DATE: January 1, 2020
Genesis 3:17-19 - "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Disobedience always brings consequences, whereas obedience brings blessing. Adam and Eve disobeyed God's one command and sin, death, and frustration entered into the world. However, we see the game changer: God's grace at work in not putting Adam and Eve to death immediately.
This chapter holds the key in explaining why the world is as it is, broken and in need of redeeming. There was an "aha" moment when I read and understood this passage. As I experience frustration, temptation, pain, and loss, may I realize that this is the result of the fall and not creation as God intended. May these daily experiences cause me to remember the penalty of sin and lead me to flee from sin and run to Jesus, the redeemer.
Lord, thank you for your reminder that sin has a great cost and it has long lasting consequences. The biggest cost of sin is that it separates us from you, which Jesus bore the brunt of on the cross as your wrath towards sin poured out on Him. Forgive me for the lingering sin in my life that I treat so lightly. May I see it as you see it. Help me in my weakness to battle sin as I should, by putting it to death. Thank you for your grace and patience with me. Amen.
Accountability is a big part of what makes D-Groups effective. Because the group is reading on the same schedule together and meeting to discuss accountability questions, there is an inherent emphasis on applying the Word to our lives.
The Great Commission emphasizes the we "teach them to obey" all that Jesus commanded and that is what accountability helps us to do. We have found that when we "inspect what we expect" people will meet and exceed those expectations.
WEEKLY ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS:
1. Have you spent time in the Word and in prayer this week?
2. Have you shared the gospel, shared your story, or taken intentional steps toward that end by building a relationship with an unbeliever this week?
3. Have you spent quality time with your family this week?
4. Have you viewed, read, or listened to anything immoral this week?
5. Have you had or have you entertained any lustful thoughts this week?
6. Have you told any lies or half-truths to put yourself in a positive light before others?
7. Have you participated in any divisive behavior that has caused relational strain or damage this week?
8. Have you lied about any of your answers today?
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