Tuesday, May 10, 2011

D-Group Info

Many of you have been asking questions about D-Group, so I decided to put a lot of information here in one place, where I can direct people to it easily. If you're a regular blog reader and you have no interest in this, carry on...

"D-Group" = Discipleship Group. It's like a Bible study, but more intense. Through trial and error, this is how we've found things work best for us.

We meet weekly. You're expected to do the work (either a book/study we're doing or a sermon series we are listening to) on your own time and show up weekly to discuss it. You should make this a primary commitment on the night of the week that you're attending. We expect that you'll show up prepared, and we promise that you'll leave challenged and encouraged. :)

You'll be expected to honor this commitment throughout the duration of the study (usually 6-10 weeks). We believe that every person in your life will benefit from your commitment to know God more fully, so we ask you to respect your commitment not only to God and to the group, but to everyone in your life, and attend weekly. If you're sick or out of town, we understand. But if you're just tired or make other plans, that's not cool.

We close the group during the course of each study, so new members have to join during Interim Week (explained below). We cap the group at 12 people. Anything bigger is too large for the intimacy we desire, and usually takes more time than the schedule allows. It's also a good excuse to branch off into another group and train new leadership so we can further our discipleship influence.

D-Group lasts 2 hours, and here's what the general format looks like. In this example, D-Group starts at 7pm, although the groups vary in start time (see below).

6:55pm - Arrive, say hello, etc.
7pm - Turn off your phone, grab a seat. It's go time.
- Opening prayer
- Individually say memory verses from previous week; we memorize a verse each week
7:15pm - Break off into prayer partners. We keep the same prayer partners throughout the duration of each study.
- Confess / Accountability
- Praise
- Prayer Requests
- No gossip or slander. You will be shut down immediately.
- Each person prays aloud for their partner.
7:45pm - Discussion time
- Gather into main meeting area again.
- Discuss the study or sermon series.
- Please contribute whatever insights, questions, or highlights you encountered. We encourage everyone to contribute.
8:35pm - Weekly Challenge
- Share the results of the previous week's challenge. Any interesting stories?
- Then I will share (via video, unless you're in one of the groups I lead) a practical challenge for us to grow deeper.
8:55pm - Closing Prayer
9pm - Group ends

Interim Week is the week between studies / semesters / sessions (we use these words interchangeably). During this week, we usually have a potluck dinner party, go out to dinner, go bowling, etc. This is our chance to celebrate what God has done during the past study while welcoming new members for the upcoming study! If you're interested in joining D-Group, Interim Week will be the first thing you attend. Then, your personal study (at home) will begin the next day, and the following week we will discuss Week 1 of the study.

Sometimes we hang out during the week... that's up to each individual group. Feel free to plan something for your group! This is how we really come to bond as a group over time. It also helps us to be involved with each other to the degree that we don't waste prayer time "catching up", because we're already caught up. We want this to be a true community. It doesn't mean you'll be best friends with everyone right off the bat, but if you put in the time, pray for the people in your group, and show up... it will naturally evolve into more meaningful relationships.

There are only three requirements for joining a D-Group. You must be:

1. Christian
2. Committed
3. Teachable

We have D-Groups for women only, men only, and coed married couples. If you're interested in joining one of our groups, contact me: tlc [at] taraleighcobble [dot] com

I really hope you'll join us!

Grace & Peace,


Don said...

I loved The Path series!! It's the only one I have on my iPod to listen to in the car.

Definitely a lot of content for good discussion there!

SelinaK said...

Hi kelly, I read this a while ago and it seems it stirred up something in me as I shall shortly be starting a similar group at my church in London! I was wondering whether you could suggest how to structure the bible studies; did you go through an already prepared curriculum and if so could you suggest one? I know you have written your own studies over the years such as the Ruth study, I was just wondering if there are other materials you use.
Your response will be highly appreciated!

TLC said...

SelinaK, I'm confused by your comment. I think you may have intended to post this for Kelly Minter?

SelinaK said...

Oh dear! My apologies! I must have been looking at the Kelly Minter studies and the same time trying to find this post on your blog...! Clearly a woman who can't multitask :( Ok, so my question is actually as simple as how do you go about the bible studies? As you can see from my major blunder, I have been looking round for a study to use and seeing as your D-group approach is what inspired me and is the model I wish to use, was wondering if you could give any suggestions for studies/resources.
Apologies once again for all the confusion!

TLC said...

Hey SelinaK, so glad you saw my comment and replied! I actually wrote a book exactly about what you're talking about -- it serves as both our D-Group handbook (with specific info about how and why to do things, a section on common problems and questions, etc.), and it ends with a 1-year starter curriculum that comes with verses and other supplements. It's called Mile Deep, and you can read more about it or buy it here: www.taraleighcobble.com/books (Note: it's an e-book, but you don't have to have an e-reader for it... just a computer! This also means you can have it in your hands immediately!).

SelinaK said...

Thanks ever so much! Thats great that you've written a book about exactly that! Shall be getting it asap :)