Every Bible study leader wants to do more than simply teach the Bible. We lead our groups because we want to see people transformed by the truths of God’s Word. We want people to come to faith in Christ. We want people to grow in that faith and their walk with Christ.
But how do we do that? How do I disciple my group?
Discipleship is not limited to simply the time we meet. In fact, for those whose time with God is limited to the group experience, I’d say their discipleship is virtually non-existent. OK, maybe not non-existent, but it’s anemic.
Discipleship is a daily process. I encourage discipleship with my group by offering them a tool that gets them in the Word every day—and they’re more easily motivated when this daily discipleship builds on their group experience. If you want your group members to grow beyond what’s discussed in the group, offer them a study and discipleship plan that go hand-in-hand.
Lifeway’s three primary Bible study curriculums each offer such a resource: a Daily Discipleship Guide. These books include three pieces that, each week, work together toward spiritual transformation.
1. The group experience. It begins with you as the leader. Each week, you’ll lead the group to discuss God’s Word. You’ll focus on a passage of Scripture. This group time is centered on their discussion and deep dive into the passage.
2. D Groups. Encourage the individuals in your Bible study group to meet with two other people during the week to dig further on the topic. People call these smaller groups by different names: D Groups, Triads, you name it, but the idea is that they continue to talk it out with only two more people. Over coffee or lunch, they can encourage each other and hold each other accountable as they grow in Christ.
3. Daily Study. The book provides five days of individual reading. Call it devotions, a quiet time, or time alone with God. This key part of discipleship occurs when your group members take the opportunity to read, think further on the passage, record their thoughts, and take action on their own.
Why is all this important? Well…because it’s discipleship. And discipleship doesn’t just happen because the group meets one day a week. Discipleship happens throughout the week. Discipleship happens as we keep reflecting on God’s Word and what He wants us to do in response. You can facilitate your group’s discipleship by giving them a resource like a Daily Discipleship Guide.
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Lynn Pryor is the publishing team leader for Bible Studies for Life. He is serving a Nashville church as their transitional interim pastor. Lynn and his wife, Mary, have survived raising two sons to adulthood. A graduate of Southwestern Seminary, Lynn has previously pastored and served churches in Texas. Read more from his blog at lynnhpryor.com. Follow him @lynnpryor.