The Four-Step Discussion Method that Works for Any Study

The Four-Step Discussion Method that Works for Any Study

This simple small-group format teaches disciples to obey God.
Page 2 of 3

Jesus told his disciples to look for a "person of peace" when they entered a new community (Luke 9:6). You can see many examples of this type of person in the New Testament—people like the woman at the well (John 4) and the centurion Cornelius (Acts 10). They were hungry for the good news of Christ and they went on to introduce new communities and groups of people to him. Look for these people in your community and invite them to study the Bible with you.

You're not inviting them to a class or series. Instead, invite them to explore the Bible with you to discover what God is like and how he might want to speak to them. If you have more than one person, that's great. But you actually only need one person to begin. If that goes well, the two of you can invite more people to join you. Each week, follow the Discovery Group Method, and encourage one another to obey what you're learning.

Launch More Groups
At some point, people will begin to experience God in life-changing ways. They will discover that he is real and wonderful and trustworthy! When this happens, they'll say something like, "My friends need to experience this. Would you lead a group for them?" Or, "I would like my family to learn these truths as well. Can I invite them to this group?" Your answer to questions like this should be, "No, you should lead a group for them yourself." There will likely be hesitant, but you can encourage them to lead the group just as you've been doing it. It's a simple method, and they can definitely do it themselves. The beauty of this method is that you don't need to know the Bible well to lead a DMM group. Rather, they just need to be able to point people to God's word—to help them discover its meaning and to help them begin to apply its truths in their lives. Let them know you will be there to help along the way.

Continue to Disciple Them as They Lead
As people begin their own groups, you should continue to meet regularly with these new leaders one-on-one or together. When you do this, use a more intense form of Discovery Group called the 3-Column Study. You will each write your responses to the three core questions on a single piece of paper divided into three columns: It says, My words, and I will.

  1. It says. (What does the passage say?) Write the Bible passage word-for-word in the first column.
  2. My words. (How would I say it?) Write out the message or story in the passage in your own words.
  3. I will. (How will I obey it?) Write down a few "I will" statements to put the truths into action in your life.

Use the opening, accountability, and outreach questions along with these questions when you meet. You should also encourage your leaders and help them solve problems they might be facing in their own groups or their personal lives.

Key Principles

Keep these three principles in mind as you implement the DMM strategy in your group:

Pray. Thriving Disciple-Making Movements are saturated in prayer. The strategy depends on God, not on you—so invite him to be involved. Ask him to guide you. Invite his Spirit to raise up people of peace and put you in touch with them. Pray for guidance, insight, and God's heart and vision.

More on Innovative Leadership

Related Training Tools

Group Discipleship Strategies
Group Discipleship Strategies
Holistic discipleship in small groups is possible.
Conquer Common Meeting Problems
Conquer Common Meeting Problems
Say goodbye to low attendance, bad studies, childcare issues, shallow relationships, and more.