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What Do You Study in a Discovery Group?

question-mark-on-paperHow do we make disciples who make disciples who make disciples? Recently an exciting new method of doing this is sweeping around the world. It’s called the Disciple-Making Movement. At its heart are Discovery Groups focused on discipleship—obeying everything Jesus commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20)

In an earlier post I wrote about how a discovery group works, each meeting is built around immediately obeying a single passage or story in the Bible. If you are intrigued by the Discovery Group method, you are probably wondering, “What passages do you study?” Good question.

The answer is: It depends on the needs of the people you are reaching.

One track commonly used with seekers or new believers is called “Creation to the Cross.” It journeys through the Bible, beginning with Genesis 1 and ending with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. You can find the 26 Bible passages in the Appendix of the book Contagious Disciple-Making or download a list of them here.

But, if you have one or two seekers or young believers open to study the Bible with you, don’t invite them to a 26 week study! That would be overwhelming. Just invite them to meet with you once. If that goes well, ask them if they would like to meet again. Then continue with them through the rest of the Bible from there.

Beyond that, you can use any series of passages in a Discovery Group.

For example, I recently led a group for a couple with marriage challenges. They committed to meet with me four times to look at some things God says about marriage in the Bible. The four passages I chose for us to dig into were: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Mark 10:2-9; Song of Songs 2:10-14; and Ephesians 4:2-3; 5:25-33.

My wife just led a group for older women new to the Bible at a retirement community. In the weeks leading up to Easter they focused on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, looking at:

  1. Luke 3:21-22, 4:1-15 (Jesus is baptized and tempted)
  2. Luke 4:16-30 (Jesus begins his ministry)
  3. Luke 4:31-44 (Jesus preaches, heals, and prays)
  4. Luke 19:1-10 (Jesus came to seek and to save the lost: Zacchaeus)
  5. Mark 8:31-38 (Jesus talks about his death and resurrection)
  6. Matthew 28 (Jesus is Alive!)

Right now I am leading an early morning men’s group. We use the more intense 3-column Discovery Group format where group members complete this 3-Column Form for the passage being studied before each meeting. We are going through the commands of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

There are a few possible studies posted online by CityTeam. You might choose one of those, or you can just use an online search engine like Google or Bing to search for “Bible passages on… [topic of your choosing].”

There is incredible flexibility. At the same time, your goal is always the same, to help people discover what God is saying in his Word, to obey it immediately in their everyday life, and to share what they are learning with others. And the best thing is that the power and simplicity of the method makes it easy for those in your group to start their own groups so that more and more people can experience the life-changing power of God through his Word.

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One Response to What Do You Study in a Discovery Group?

  1. Alexi George May 11, 2017 at 2:31 am #

    Thanks Jim. Appreciate these resources. Trying to be creative with groups for unbelievers. Especially in a multi religious context. Trying some new things in this regard.

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