In the paragraphs below, we’ve listed thorough answers to the most commonly asked questions about D-Groups. Have a question not answered below? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A D-Group is a gender-specific closed group of 3 to 5 believers (including the leader) who meet together at least once a month for the purpose of accelerated spiritual transformation.
While LifeGroups exist for the purpose of connecting. A D-Group, on the other hand, consists of believers who desire a deeper walk with Christ. It is not evangelistic in its form or function, but in its fruit: it makes disciples who will then go on to make more disciples.
The format of a D-Group is not one of a teacher-student, but a roundtable discussion. In their book The Invested Life, Joel Rosenberg and T.E. Koshy suggest that a discipleship relationship is “more personal, more practical, and more powerful. A teacher shares information, while a discipler shares life; a teacher aims for the head, while a discipler aims for the heart; a teacher measures knowledge, while a discipler measures faith; a teacher is an authority, while a discipler is a servant; and a teacher says, ‘Listen to me,’ while a discipler says, ‘Follow me.’” This blueprint, sketched by Jesus Christ through His personal example, is how discipleship is accomplished in the lives of believers, and, ultimately, within the local church. When this plan is followed, those involved will participate in three dynamics that result in growth in their personal lives, as well as in the Kingdom: connecting because of the Gospel, growth in the Gospel, and influence with the Gospel.
The only absolute requirement for leading a D-Group is that you be intentionally pursuing Christ. You do not need to be a master teacher or have all of the answers; you do not need to be able to say, “Listen to me.” If you can say, “Follow me; I’m pursuing Christ,” you have the tools you need to lead a D-Group.
As a D-Group leader, you set the tone for the group’s atmosphere. You are not lecturing students; you are cultivating an intimate, accountable relationship with a few close friends. Joel Rosenberg and T.E. Koshy wrote in their book The Invested Lifethat the discipleship relationship is “more personal, more practical, and more powerful. A teacher shares information, while a discipler aims for the heart; a teacher measures knowledge, while a discipler measures faith; a teacher is an authority, while a discipler is a servant; and a teacher says, ‘Listen to me,’ while a discipler says, ‘Follow me.’”
The first step in establishing a formal disciple-making relationship is choosing disciples. Jesus, our example in selecting disciples, spent time in prayer before selecting men (Luke 6:12-16). The word disciple means learner. Begin by asking God to send you a group of men or women who have a desire to learn and grow.
When people approached Jesus about becoming His disciples, our Lord held a high standard. One man said, “I’ll follow you, but let me go bury my father.” Now, the man’s father had not yet died–the man was reaching for an excuse to postpone the kind of commitment that Jesus expected of him. Jesus responded with something that the man would have understood to mean, “You can’t do that. The kingdom is too important.”
Your D-Group should consist of F.A.T. believers: Faithful, Available, and Teachable. A faithful person is dedicated, trustworthy, and committed. Consider a potential disciple’s faithfulness by observing other areas of his/her spiritual life, such as church attendance, Life Group involvement, or service in the church. Faithfulness is determined by a commitment to spiritual things.
Discern an individual’s availability by his willingness to meet with and invest in others. Does this person carve out time to listen, study, and learn from others? Is he accessible when called upon? Does she have a regular quiet time with God of reading the Word and praying? Availability is measured by a willingness to serve God.
Not everybody who attends a Life Group is teachable. A teachable person has a desire to learn and apply what is taught. One who is teachable is open to correction. Recognize teachability by observing one’s response to God’s Word. For example, after hearing a sermon on prayer, do they begin to pray more regularly? Or after a lesson about the dangers of the tongue, does the person implement changes in their speech? A teachable person not only listens to what is taught, but also applies it to his or her life.
After discerning that an individual is faithful, available, and teachable, prayerfully approach him or her and ask, “Would you be interested in studying the Bible, memorizing Scripture, and praying together?” Many people are open to that. All you have to do is ask. We don’t recommend that you say, “Would you like for me to disciple you?” as this question may come across in a derogatory manner. Keep in mind that men should disciple men, and women should disciple women.
Restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, diners, and homes are all good options. Meeting in the community encourages your group members to publicize their faith, teaching them it is okay to read the Bible at a restaurant or pray in public. Be sure to select a place that is convenient to all group members.
The meet-up guide will help you facilitate and manage your time together.
The expectations for a D-Group provide an understanding for what will take place over the life of the D-Group. It’s designed to help members of the group keep each other accountable.
If you are leading a D-Group, this guide will help you start a new group and lead it well. The guide includes resources on Bible Study and more information on the H.E.A.R Study Method.
The D-Group study guide includes a description of the H.E.A.R. Bible Study Method so you can continue studying God’s Word between your D-Group meetings.