DISCIPLESHIP GROUP GUIDE
WHAT IS A DISCIPLESHIP GROUP?
WHAT IS NOT A DISCIPLESHIP GROUP?
- A support group
- A venting session
- A social club
- A gossiping session
- A classroom setting
- The Vision for Discipleship Groups
WHAT IS THE VISION FOR DISCIPLESHIP GROUPS?
- To foster a community of passionate Bible-students at Pilgrim Rest
- To measure the spiritual growth of members of PRBC.
- To develop exceptional Discipleship Group leaders, coaches, and apprentices who push groups into loving community.
- To make each DG evangelistic.
HOW DOES THE VISION FOR DGs RELATE TO THE CHURCH'S VISION AND MISSION?
WHAT IS THE MISSION?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE D-GROUPS?
- The fellowship of believers
- The application of God’s Word
- Accountability among members
- The opportunity for biblical counseling
- The training of leaders
WHAT DO THE FACILITATORS OF THE D-GROUPS DO?
- Cast vision for discipleship group
- Trains leaders
- Offers support, direction, and encouragement to leaders
- Communicates discipleship group information to the pastor
THE D-GROUP LEADERS
- Engages in personal Bible study
- Leads group members to spiritual maturity in Christ
- Acts as a joyful advocate of the church
- Assist the facilitator in the training of leaders
- Demonstrate servant leadership
- Upholds the vision and mission of the church
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF D-GROUP LEADERS?
- Submissive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit
- Regularly reads the Word of God
- Devoted to prayer
- Able to explain the Gospel clearly
- Outwardly focused
- Committed to supporting the church
- Follows up
WHAT IS AN APPRENTICE?
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF BEING A D-GROUP LEADER?
- Participate in the Gospel-centered life study
- Attend Leadership 101
- Attend Leadership 102
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PRODUCTIVE D-GROUP
- A belief in the sufficiency, authority, and truthfulness of God’s Word.
- Edifying communication among group members
- Genuine fellowship
- The participation of all group members
- The spiritual growth of all group members
- Consistent meeting times
- Community outreach projects
- A heart for evangelism
CHARACTERISTICS OF POOR D-GROUPS
- A lack of reverence for God’s Word
- The use of destructive or crude speech
- Putting on a mask or misrepresenting information
- The formation of cliques and factions
- Allowing one or two personalities to dominate the conversation
- Spiritual stagnation
- Infrequent meeting times
- Persistent gossiping about or criticism of the perceived failures of the church
- A lack of evangelism
We must endeavor to detect and correct any signs of unproductive groups. Since discipleship is so crucial for the health and growth of a church, the discipleship groups must be in step with vision and mission of the church. There is a process in place for correcting a poor discipleship group. First, the discipleship leader should address the problem. For example, if the problem is infrequent meeting times, then the leader should start scheduling regular meeting. If the problem persists, the second step is to seek the help of the group’s apprentice. In the event that a leader and the apprentice cannot develop a solution, the leader should contact a coach. The coach will have a consultation with both the leader and apprentice. The last option is contacting the Discipleship Group Coordinator, who will join some of the group sessions.
HOW SHOULD I HANDLE A GROUP MEMBER IN SIN?
- A believer should confront the offender
- A couple of believers should confront the offender
- The church should be notified
- The offender should be treated as lost individual who is in need of the gospel
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN AT THE FIRST MEETING?
WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE MEETING?
- Pray that God would allow you be build healthy relationships with group members
- Determine your goals for the group
- Study your curriculum
- Prepare engaging questions for the group
- Invite people to join your group, especially church members, friends, and family.
- Call members a week before meeting to welcome them to the group and inform them of meeting time and place.
- Make a tentative list of members(See form in the appendix)
DURING THE MEETING?
- For the first meeting, have a meal prepared
- Greet each guest as they come to your home
- Greet each person by name as they enter
- If you do not know their name, introduce yourself
- Be sure to have upbeat, appropriate music playing in the background
- Give them notice(ex:we’ll start in five minutes) before you start meeting
- Express gratitude for the group
- Already have Bible and notepad in place
- Review the discipleship group agenda outline, so that the meeting will flow smoothly
WHAT IS THE D-GROUP AGENDA?
- Ice breaker
- Prayer and worship
- Bible study
- At second meeting, start discussion your “GO” project.
- Action plan and prayer request
AFTER THE MEETING?
Thank you and reminder of next meeting: Be sure to send out a brief text, note, or email thanking them for their attendance and alerting them of the next meeting time and place. Missing person: If a person has been missing for a couple of weeks, please personally call them to determine the reasons for his/her absences. Sick person or home-bound: Often members will get sick within the group. In this case, it is very important that the leader reaches out to the member by calling or personally visiting them. It is important that the leader operates with discretion and wisdom as he or she is communicating that illness or home-bound situation with other members.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE THE ANSWER TO A QUESTION?
WHAT IF ONE MEMBER IS NOT PARTICIPATING IN GROUP DISCUSSIONS?
- Avoid publicly asking a member to contribute, as some members may feel embarrassed.
- Emphasize the fact that you appreciate all contributions from the group comments
- Gently encourage them after the meeting to feel free to give input and ask questions
HOW DO I KEEP THE DISCUSSION FOCUSED?
- Set a limit for time for contributions. For example, we may want to tell the group that everyone gets about two minutes to discuss.
- If a member seems to be dominating group discussion, incorporate the input of others.
- Keep the point of the lesson at the forefront of the discussion. When the conversation drifts too far off the lesson, you must led everyone back toward the primary point of the lesson. At the same time, though, let the conversation flow freely and naturally.