GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVELY RUNNING A DISCIPLESHIP GROUP
THE ASSIGNMENT: Group Activities for LEADERS
As the leader of the group purchase or be gifted The Assignment: The Prophetic Message and Mission (book). It is a great reference for how the church began and grew over the centuries, as well as containing resources for true discipleship (not salvation only)
Bring a journal and pen to each class to take notes and write down questions they want to ask during discussion times.
Read the week’s Quick Note topical study before the discipleship group meeting. Bring questions or discussion points to share.
Speaking Protocol: Understand that discussions should not follow the social media high interrupt structure. Hand signals might be used to request sharing a comment or question.
Share during open discussion or when acknowledged by the Facilitator. Write down your questions or comments for later discussion.
Start a Prayer Journal: record prayers and corresponding scriptures, answers, and testimonies. A Charge to the Facilitators/Mentors of Discipleship Groups
THE ASSIGNMENT: Group Activities for MEMBERS
Over the years, we have found that the following guidelines - not hard rules - have resulted in a positive flow among group attendees: encouraged participation and interaction, fostered retention of materials covered, and aided disciples in sharing their faith with others. Discipleship groups will have unique personalities based on those gathered: varied age groups, prior spiritual formation of members, or lack thereof, new believers versus those refreshing and strengthening their knowledge of the Word of God, and more.
Groups will not be cookie-cutter duplicates of what we have shared from our personal experiences. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in discerning how much members are able to comprehend and readily incorporate into their lifestyles. Some members may easily cover the material in 11 or 12 weeks while others will need much longer and also require some one-on-one mentoring. The goal of discipleship groups is to disciple believers in the teachings of Jesus Christ so that they have a spiritual foundation that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Rigidly rushing through the material may defeat your end goals.
Trust your instincts and discernment in knowing when to move on to a new topic and when to linger and give “homework” assignments before meeting for another class. Your ASSIGNMENT is to make sure each disciple is grounded in the Word on the important topics covered. Your group is the birthing place of future facilitators/mentors who will follow in your footsteps and begin their own discipleship assignments. God willing, these groups will result in the formation of an empowered army of future Christian leaders.
GUIDELINES FOR RUNNING A FELLOWSHIP GROUP
Although Certificates of Completion will be awarded to those who fulfill the requirements of the coursework, the higher goal is to help members develop a Biblical Worldview and lasting bonds of relationship within the Body of Christ. Using God’s Word as their standard, each graduate of the program should know how to find the mind of God when confronted with life’s tough issues. They should be equipped to respond - with the help of the Holy Spirit - in a manner reflecting the character of God. Your personal goal as a facilitator/mentor is to discourage members from focusing on you for answers. Rather, encourage them to be God-dependent.
This is the assigned moment for Him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. John 3:30 The Messenger
An Outline for Facilitating a Discipleship Group
Greetings & Introduction:
Welcome and introduce new members (or have the person who brought them introduce them). Invite them to share a bit about themselves and what prompted them – what goal was in mind – when they decided to join the group. (Limit to five minutes)
Initiate a time of Praise if musicians are available.
Prayer of Invocation:
Open with a prayer seeking the Holy Spirit’s leading. You may invite members to do this on a rotating basis.
Open the floor for members to briefly share victories experienced over the past week based on the material covered previously (10-15 minutes).
Introduce the Quick Note for the Week:
After you give a brief overview of the topic and perhaps add some interesting historical facts or quotes about the subject, begin to solicit the participation of all members. Urge them to take ownership of the learning adventure by having various members read a portion of the Quick Note. After each reading, ask the reader to explain their understanding of the Scripture and what it means to them. Open discussion to other members having them give their differing or more in-depth understanding of the text. Ask how they might personalize the scripture into their lifestyle practices. Inquire as to what character traits of God are revealed in the passage and what specific message He is trying to address. Try to keep the class discussion at about 25-30 minutes.
Be prepared to share communion in a meaningful, reverent manner. Be mindful of health protocols. Single-serving cups and wafers are the easiest way to distribute the elements. (They may be purchased on Amazon or from church suppliers online). Invite members to read
Communion-related Scriptures and distribute the elements on a rotating basis (See Quick Note on Communion). Pray over the elements. Partake. Give thanks to God.
Prayer for Healing and Special Needs:
Encourage group members to learn to pray out loud, pray scriptures, anoint with oil, and lay hands on the sick. Have them start a prayer journal writing down needs, praying over them between meetings, and recording answered prayers. It will build their faith individually and as a group.
Have members verbalize how the teaching has impacted them specifically and what differences they are experiencing in their relationships and personally by applying the precepts of God to their lives.
Distribute Hand-outs and study Supplements: As necessary for next week.
Closing Prayer/Prayer over Fellowship Food:
Time of Fellowship: If the group decides to break bread together following meetings, make sure the responsibility of providing food and drinks and the clean-up after doesn’t fall on the same members each week.
In each gathering, remind members that the Bible is the all-sufficient rule of our faith and practice for Christian believers. It instructs us on the importance of developing a Biblical Worldview. It stands as the absolute truth and authority that leads to life and victory. It is God’s love letter to His beloved family. How we respond to it is our love letter back to Him. If we love Him, we will do what He says: not out of compulsion or adherence to laws but out of love and inspiration.
Topical subjects covered in the Quick Notes will lay a firm foundation and formation for disciples. The Quick Notes explain and confirm Christian practices and beliefs, help disciples cooperate with the laws of God, and result in disciples developing a lifestyle befitting the name Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ is recognized by their love, character, and lifestyle choices that mirror those of Jesus as recorded in the Scripture.
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God-approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
Godspeed in fulfilling The Assignment!
Domenic and Charlie Fusco