Starting a Discipleship Group

What is a Discipleship Group? In a Discipleship Group we commit to following our Lord Jesus together, more intently, by sharing our time, our God, and our mission.

Why groups of three (triads)? We think a group of three provides the intimacy of a smaller group with the benefit of multiple perspectives on each person’s situations, strengths and struggles.

Who should participate in Discipleship Groups? Everyone! Our aim as a church is to become a joy-filled community that treasures God in Christ supremely, obeys the Bible completely, loves one another selflessly, and spreads the gospel intentionally. We do this through the Sunday Worship Celebration, Community Groups, and Discipleship Groups – everyone should be in all three, and we believe triads are a simple way to begin a Discipleship Group.  

How can I find a Discipleship Group? We have found Discipleship Groups work best when they are formed organically rather than through assignment. We encourage you to start by finding another person you think would be a good match; then, the two of you can find a third member. Good places to look for other members are in your Community Group or through relationships that develop at church or in Life Training Classes. You can also ask others (friends, Community Group leaders, ministry leaders, elders, pastors) if they know of anyone that might be interested in joining in a triad.

What should a Discipleship Group (DG) do? Share your time, your God, and your mission. There are more details below (so keep reading), but it really is this simple: follow Jesus, together with two or more other disciples, sharing your lives, your God and your mission. 

  • Enjoy each others’ company. A good DG will have fun, and enjoy time together that simply enjoys each others’ friendship: hikes, playdates, shows, meals, chores – life.
  • Stay in touch with each other, in each others’ rhythm of life: This might mean meeting once a week, but it will always involve some kind of substantial weekly contact. Sometimes that might be face-to-face, sometimes digital. There is, however, no good replacement for face-to-face contact.
  • Be in the Word together. Some DG’s review the prior week’s sermon; some read and discuss a good book; some read through the Bible with a commentary. Regardless, we encourage you to invite the input of a pastor or other elder as you choose a source of content for your group.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:24-25

  • Share deeply: Since these people are to be the people in the church that know you the best, you should be willing to share your joys and your struggles.

“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” -1 Thessalonians 2:8

  • Share your mission: Every good DG will not just turn inwardly, thinking only of self, but will consider the relationships that each one has with unbelievers, and pray for them and for each other, as men and women on the mission of Christ. Every DG will give place to the mission in the life of the group. But this will go one of two ways: some will then “go out” with the gospel, while others will invite unbelievers within the life of the group.

”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

  • Listen deeply, patiently, biblically: You are listening to answer the question, “How can I pray for you?” – really pray for you, the way God would have me pray – according to your true needs. Those needs will involve a) the other’s situation, b) their own heart, as it bends toward or away from God, and c) the words and commands and promises of God.
  • Pray for one another: You take time to sincerely pray intelligently - that is, praying God's thoughts for this person back to God. No better way to be a good friend than to open the vast storehouses of our Father's heaven for another.
  • Encourage one another: Listening well and praying intelligently positions us to be conduits of God's grace back to this friend. But it won't be trite or wooden or superficial. It will be well-timed grace, meeting your friend in the rhythm of their life.

”Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” -1 Thessalonians 5:11

  • Invite accountability from the others: As Christians, we are called to live in open accountability with other wise friends, who will neither excuse us nor crush for our sin, but who will wisely lead us back to Christ through the gospel. This is normal Christianity.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” -James 5:16

”For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” -Matthew 18:20

  • Lastly, keep it simple, keeping your focus on all three priorities: sharing life, God and mission. There will be great variety in the look of our DG’s, as we follow these priorities, and that’s OK. Form will follow function. The important thing is that we all take further steps in discipleship, in following our Lord Jesus Christ, together.

Once you have started a DG, let us know in the church office, and we can help you customize how you communicate as a group:

  • Some simply use texting and personal email
  • Some post their group on our group listing on our website and communicate through that system. If your group is pursuing these three priorities, we are happy to list it on the church website. 
  • Others use an app, like GroupMe
  • Or a combination of these options