Format Suggestions

Suggestions on Efficient Ways to Facilitate a Discussion-Based Discipleship Group.

What does a typical meeting look like? - D Group meetings are casual and flexible. Based upon the nature of the group the meeting schedule and structure can vary. Be selective in the number of questions you try to discuss. Plan the time, follow a schedule, and appoint a time keeper to keep the meeting on track.


Connect - 20:00 Minutes - This time, although most casual and easy, is important to building relationships and group unity. Connect time encourages sharing, openness, listening, cooperation and discussion later. Providing a useful "getting to know you" or "group building" opportunity will result in discovering a group identity and environment for discipleship. 
Most groups discover that brining a light snack or desert is a natural ice breaker for small group connect time. Please remember that snacks can become a detriment to the D-Group. If you choose to eat together, consider something simple: just dessert, or a snack. A full meal requires a significant amount of time, cost, and planning. Cpnsider the following "Ice Breakers." 

Enjoy a light snack or dessert Ask an interesting question Play 2 Truths and a Lie
Discuss a fun topic Play Finish the Story Answer Would you Rather questions
Play 20 Questions Play 1 or 2 rounds of Fictionary Play 1 or 2 rounds of Pictionary

Also, share the responsibility. PLEASE do not expect the same person to host the group in their home, provide the food/snack/dessert, and lead the discussion. Share the hosting responsibilities.


Faith Conversations - 30:00 Minutes - Appoint a timekeeper to keep the group on schedule. Remind everyone to give brief answers. 

  1. 5 minutes - READ the scripture passage from the previous Sunday's sermon. Have D Group - The sermon is available online on both video and audio podcast at www.nbchurch.info or www.philsallee.info. If a D-Group member misses a Sunday (bad weather, sleeping in, sick kids, ball games, hunting season, etc.)
  2. 5 minutes -Each week have brief SUMMARY so that each participant has the same frame of reference for discussion. Good summary questions to ask the group:
    • What 1 thing struck you as insightful or memorable.
    • Did you have an, "Ah ha!" moment?
  3. 10 minutes - SERMON BASED DISCUSSION – - Effective sermon discussion is going to occur if the conversation accentuates the listener’s story. Listen closely to each other and to the Holy Spirit so we can carefully and empathetically affirm or direct one another to truth. Refuse to talk over one another when someone answering a question or is telling their story. 
    Decline to dominate the 10 minutes. Let everyone have a chance to contribute.The following discussion topics are to be avoided: 
    • Sermon/service evaluation: too long, too boring, too simple, too loud, etc.
    • Gossip: Refrain mentioning names of people not at the meeting, others questionable behaviors, societal scourges, cultural fears, political affiliation and opinions, etc.

Remember to ask these four questions. 

  1. What does this passage say about God? Are truths about His character (Holy, Loving, Patient, Righteous, etc.), His nature (Generous, Gracious, Jealous, Sovereign, etc), His ways, His will revealed?
  2. What does this passage say about the Gospel? The Good News of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of God’s redemption story. How is Jesus Christ connected to the text? How does the main point of the passage find its fulfillment in Jesus? Is there any gospel theme or promise [salvation? forgiveness? messianic prediction?, justice?, love?, wrath?, etc.)? How does this theme find its fulfillment in Jesus?
  3. What does this passage say about us? What do these verses reveal about humanity (Positives - Created in image of God, cognitive, relational, covenant marriage, abilities, servants of God’s work, etc. Negatives - falleness as a result of sinful rebellion, pride, immoral, hostile, deceptive, etc.)
  4. What specific action will I take as a result of this new insight? How can what we have learned tonight be applied to my life in a practical, doable way? What changes do I need to make? To ensure that discipleship gets lived out day to day, D Group participants should leave their time together with something think about or do before your next meeting.

Accountability & Prayer - 20:00 Minutes Accountability: Split up into circles of three or four people for accountability and prayer. Ask someone in each subgroup to facilitate the conversation, you are giving those people a chance to experiment with facilitating a discussion in a safe way. 
This time will increase your D Group’s unity and intimacy. Not everyone is comfortable with sharing aloud publicly. However, it will be in these times of accountability and prayer that disciples become family. Don’t force anyone to disclose anything until they are ready. Model the right way to share appropriately. yet discreetly. When newcomers begin to sense that the group is safe, they will open up when they are ready.
Because of a genuine concern for one another, each person in the accountability group should give permission for another to ask questions: Ask one or two of the following accountability questions:

  1. How are you doing?
  2. Are you loving well (your friends, your family, your neighbors, your coworkers)?
  3. Are you struggling? What are you struggling through?
  4. What can we celebrate with you?
  5. Are you just beginning your spiritual journey? Seeking? Questioning?
  6. When did you begin your relationship with God?
  7. How is God at work in your life right now?
  8. Listen closely to each other and to the Holy Spirit so we can carefully and empathetically affirm or direct one another to truth.
    • Refuse to talk over one another.
    • Refuse to dominate the time.
  9. Encourage each other to live out what we believe and help each other.
  10. Gently speak the truth in love since/if we have earned the right to address issues of concern,
  11. Give permission to kindly correct when necessary.
  12. Contact one another if we are absent from the group.
  13. We honor one another with confidentiality. While anyone can give permission for their info to be shared at any time, the general rule of thumb is to honor the confidentiality of the group as you learn more about each other. What you learn about others, however, is private information. The exception to this is if an issue arises that requires a more trained perspective (dangerous or harmful behaviors, addiction issues, abuse, etc.). In that case, please confide in the church staff or the Ministry Leadership Team for more assistance.

Prayer: Pray with and for each other. Prayer partners or triplets can provide a rich blessing too. Gather people into prayer partners or triplets to share and pray. Men pray with men and women with women.

  1. Issues that present themselves during the accountability discussion will call the prayer to a specific prayer focus.
  2. A variety of types of prayers should be prayed:
    • Prayers of Praise and Adoration
    • Prayers of Confession
    • Prayers of Thanksgiving
    • Prayers of Supplication
    • Prayers of Intersession
Discussion Questions

D-Group Questions?


 

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Meeting Format

What does a typical meeting look like? - D Group meetings are casual and flexible. Based upon the nature of the group the meeting schedule and structure can vary. Be selective in the number of questions you try to discuss. Plan the time, follow a schedule, and appoint a time keeper to keep the meeting on track.


Connect - 20:00 Minutes - This time, although most casual and easy, is important to building relationships and group unity. Connect time encourages sharing, openness, listening, cooperation and discussion later. Providing a useful "getting to know you" or "group building" opportunity will result in discovering a group identity and environment for discipleship. 
Most groups discover that brining a light snack or desert is a natural ice breaker for small group connect time. Please remember that snacks can become a detriment to the D-Group. If you choose to eat together, consider something simple: just dessert, or a snack. A full meal requires a significant amount of time, cost, and planning. Cpnsider the following "Ice Breakers." 

Enjoy a light snack or dessert Ask an interesting question Play 2 Truths and a Lie
Discuss a fun topic Play Finish the Story Answer Would you Rather questions
Play 20 Questions Play 1 or 2 rounds of Fictionary Play 1 or 2 rounds of Pictionary

Also, share the responsibility. PLEASE do not expect the same person to host the group in their home, provide the food/snack/dessert, and lead the discussion. Share the hosting responsibilities.


Faith Conversations - 30:00 Minutes - Appoint a timekeeper to keep the group on schedule. Remind everyone to give brief answers. 

  1. 5 minutes - READ the scripture passage from the previous Sunday's sermon. Have D Group - The sermon is available online on both video and audio podcast at www.nbchurch.info or www.philsallee.info. If a D-Group member misses a Sunday (bad weather, sleeping in, sick kids, ball games, hunting season, etc.)
  2. 5 minutes -Each week have brief SUMMARY so that each participant has the same frame of reference for discussion. Good summary questions to ask the group:
    • What 1 thing struck you as insightful or memorable.
    • Did you have an, "Ah ha!" moment?
  3. 10 minutes - SERMON BASED DISCUSSION – - Effective sermon discussion is going to occur if the conversation accentuates the listener’s story. Listen closely to each other and to the Holy Spirit so we can carefully and empathetically affirm or direct one another to truth. Refuse to talk over one another when someone answering a question or is telling their story. 
    Decline to dominate the 10 minutes. Let everyone have a chance to contribute.The following discussion topics are to be avoided: 
    • Sermon/service evaluation: too long, too boring, too simple, too loud, etc.
    • Gossip: Refrain mentioning names of people not at the meeting, others questionable behaviors, societal scourges, cultural fears, political affiliation and opinions, etc.

Remember to ask these four questions. 

  1. What does this passage say about God? Are truths about His character (Holy, Loving, Patient, Righteous, etc.), His nature (Generous, Gracious, Jealous, Sovereign, etc), His ways, His will revealed?
  2. What does this passage say about the Gospel? The Good News of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of God’s redemption story. How is Jesus Christ connected to the text? How does the main point of the passage find its fulfillment in Jesus? Is there any gospel theme or promise [salvation? forgiveness? messianic prediction?, justice?, love?, wrath?, etc.)? How does this theme find its fulfillment in Jesus?
  3. What does this passage say about us? What do these verses reveal about humanity (Positives - Created in image of God, cognitive, relational, covenant marriage, abilities, servants of God’s work, etc. Negatives - falleness as a result of sinful rebellion, pride, immoral, hostile, deceptive, etc.)
  4. What specific action will I take as a result of this new insight? How can what we have learned tonight be applied to my life in a practical, doable way? What changes do I need to make? To ensure that discipleship gets lived out day to day, D Group participants should leave their time together with something think about or do before your next meeting.

Accountability & Prayer - 20:00 Minutes Accountability: Split up into circles of three or four people for accountability and prayer. Ask someone in each subgroup to facilitate the conversation, you are giving those people a chance to experiment with facilitating a discussion in a safe way. 
This time will increase your D Group’s unity and intimacy. Not everyone is comfortable with sharing aloud publicly. However, it will be in these times of accountability and prayer that disciples become family. Don’t force anyone to disclose anything until they are ready. Model the right way to share appropriately. yet discreetly. When newcomers begin to sense that the group is safe, they will open up when they are ready.
Because of a genuine concern for one another, each person in the accountability group should give permission for another to ask questions: Ask one or two of the following accountability questions:

  1. How are you doing?
  2. Are you loving well (your friends, your family, your neighbors, your coworkers)?
  3. Are you struggling? What are you struggling through?
  4. What can we celebrate with you?
  5. Are you just beginning your spiritual journey? Seeking? Questioning?
  6. When did you begin your relationship with God?
  7. How is God at work in your life right now?
  8. Listen closely to each other and to the Holy Spirit so we can carefully and empathetically affirm or direct one another to truth.
    • Refuse to talk over one another.
    • Refuse to dominate the time.
  9. Encourage each other to live out what we believe and help each other.
  10. Gently speak the truth in love since/if we have earned the right to address issues of concern,
  11. Give permission to kindly correct when necessary.
  12. Contact one another if we are absent from the group.
  13. We honor one another with confidentiality. While anyone can give permission for their info to be shared at any time, the general rule of thumb is to honor the confidentiality of the group as you learn more about each other. What you learn about others, however, is private information. The exception to this is if an issue arises that requires a more trained perspective (dangerous or harmful behaviors, addiction issues, abuse, etc.). In that case, please confide in the church staff or the Ministry Leadership Team for more assistance.

Prayer: Pray with and for each other. Prayer partners or triplets can provide a rich blessing too. Gather people into prayer partners or triplets to share and pray. Men pray with men and women with women.

  1. Issues that present themselves during the accountability discussion will call the prayer to a specific prayer focus.
  2. A variety of types of prayers should be prayed:
    • Prayers of Praise and Adoration
    • Prayers of Confession
    • Prayers of Thanksgiving
    • Prayers of Supplication
    • Prayers of Intersession

Goals

The four biblical goals of a D Group:

Kids

What Do We Do with Our Kids?

D Group parents will agree to a rotating schedule where each one will become a Family Ministry Facilitator and provide a creative faith experience for the kids.

  • This will be a unique way for each set of parents to practice Family Ministry skills.
  • Parents will learn new Family Ministry discipleship skills that could revolutionize their families future as effective faith influencers.
  • For the 13 weeks of fall D Group time period, NBFamilies pastors will provide ideas for the following experiences:
    1. Faith Talk - A planned conversation or activity which engages kids in a bible discussion.
    2. Faith Walk - An activity when the work of God is recognized and appreciated
    3. Faith Mission - A planned missions activity where the mission of God is experienced.
  • Some parents have infants and they will wish to keep their babies close by. The causal nature of a D Group environment allows for infants to stay to their parents.
  • Some groups will want to provide a Family Ministry opportunity for the kids separate from the parent’s faith conversation.

For 15 Faith Talk examples, visit our NBFamilies Faith Talks area.