About a year ago I approached a friend from a different faith background and asked if she and her family might be open to doing a four week small group at their house. I promised it would be a short, discussion based, introduction to the faith. The results were positive in many regards, but I was especially excited that it gave us a glimpse of a model for evangelism, discipleship, and small group multiplication that really excites me.
This week I read an article by Jim Egli that describes these same kinds of “discovery groups”. As you read a portion of Jim’s article, I encourage you to ask yourself how these kinds of groups might help you accomplish some of your most important goals. You can read Jim’s full article and other similar posts at http://jimegli.com/the-next-big-thing-in-small-groups/
THE NEXT BIG THING by Jim Egli
Ka-Blam! My concepts of how to do small groups, evangelism, and discipleship, just blew up. I thought I knew a lot about these things. I’ve been a pastor, small group writer, and small group consultant for 30 years. I even did my Ph.D. research on what makes groups grow.
But recently my paradigms of small groups, evangelism and discipleship were shattered. And now I am in learning mode all over again, experimenting with a new approach to take things to a whole new level.
What am I talking about? . . . Discipleship Making Movement is new way of reaching the unreached, making disciples, and mobilizing leaders that is built around a simple, yet powerful way of doing small groups. . . Here is a sample format:
- What are you thankful for this week? (This question helps teach seekers or those new to Christ how to worship and pray.)
- What is a challenge you are facing? Is there some way our group can help? (This guides people into caring community.)
- With whom did you share last week’s learnings?
- How did it go with your “I will’s”? (An “I will” is a person’s statement of how they will obey a Bible passage.)
- What does it say? (Read the passage several times, perhaps in different translations.)
- How would I say that? (Each person tries to retell the passage or Bible story in their own words.)
- What must I do to obey what I have learned? “I will…” (Each person crafts a statement tell how they will personally obey the passage this week.)
Optional Questions to Use if You Have Time
- What does the passage or story say about humanity?
- What does it say about God?
- With whom will you share what you learned this week?
That’s it! Just focus on the Bible in a way that you can retell and obey it. The big adjustment for current groups is that we are used to discussing and learning, but not acting immediately on what we learned! Somehow, in my past groups and perhaps yours, just learning new things made us feel like we were growing and going somewhere spiritually. . .
The DMM Discovery Group method cuts to the chase. It moves quickly from what the passage says to how we will obey it.
Also, the method’s simplicity and the way it integrates evangelism and discipleship empowers people to replicate it and start their own groups, turning motivated learners into leaders.
As I said, there’s more to DMM than its small group methodology. I’ll share some of the other elements in later posts. Right now, what questions do you have about leading a Discovery small group? Who else has begun doing this? What are you learning? If you want to learn more, download this report. To start experimenting with leading a Discovery Group, here’s a simple handout with the questions I outlined above.