See Groups Start

Written by: Chris Galanos

Part 1 – Raise the Sails
Part 2 – Focus on God’s Word
Part 3 – Multiply Extraordinary Prayer
Part 4 – Go Out Among the Lost

The fourth element in “raising the sails” for movement is “See Groups Start.”

You “Go Out Among the Lost” (third element) with the intention of finding the “person of peace” who opens up their “oikos” so a Discovery Group (DG) can get started where a discipleship process begins.

That’s the goal.

The prayer is that as the Discovery Group journeys through a series of “Creation to Christ” Scripture passages together, the entire group repents of their sin & places their faith in Christ! We then lead them through getting baptized together & beginning to function as a DMM Church. We immediately begin training them to Focus on God’s Word, Multiply Extraordinary Prayer, Go Out Among the Lost, and See Groups Start so the process can repeat all over again.

Let me continue David’s story from the previous post.

When David expressed that he wanted to be a better spiritual leader for his family, we knew this could be an open door. At the very least, we felt like he was “welcoming” (the W in WOOLY). We told him that we believed we could meet some of his needs & that we wanted to meet with him again. After the first meeting, we helped him find a good attorney and also helped him find some places he could live in.

When we met the second time, I brought up that we could also help him become a better spiritual leader for his family if he was interested. He definitely was. I asked him, “Would you be open to bringing your family & friends together to discover more about God through his Word?” He said he was. I asked him when would be a good time to start meeting together. He said Sunday mornings.

Let me backtrack a minute.

In our first meeting with David a week earlier, as we began to talk about spiritual things, he mentioned that maybe he needed to take his kids back to church (even though neither he nor his kids enjoyed going). We told him that “going to church” is a good thing but that we felt like we could offer him something that would help even more. We knew that if we could get a Discovery Group started with him & his family, they might all come to Christ together, plant a new church, and then become effective disciple-makers & church planters leading to many more churches being planted. That’d be a lot more fruitful than just telling him to go back to a church he didn’t enjoy and attend services each weekend.

Once he told me that Sunday mornings would be a good time for his “oikos” to meet, I began to train him right then in exactly what to do. I taught him the 7-question DBS method of reading, obeying & sharing the Scriptures. Then I gave him the “Creation to Christ” passages which he could take his family through each week. Then I walked him through a mock Discovery Group so he’d know exactly how to lead it. I told him he could try it that weekend & then we could meet again and discuss any questions he had. I could tell he was excited to begin to lead his family spiritually & we were all praying that the Holy Spirit would speak through the Word of God & draw all of the family to saving faith in Jesus Christ!

Notice that I never attended the group. That’s ideal. If the potential PoP (person of peace) asks you to attend the first few times to help them learn the 7-question DBS process, we will do that. But, our goal is always to be gone by the 4th week. We don’t want the group to become dependent on us as the “Bible answer person” or the “leader” rather than the Holy Spirit. Ideally, you’d train the PoP ahead of time & coach them each week rather than going to the group. But sometimes they want you to come to help them get started, which is understandable. In this case, David was willing to lead without me being there, so I told him I’d train him & then coach him each week through any questions or struggles that he had.

That was the first Discovery Group we planted in that neighborhood. We’re praying for many more!

The goal with “seeing groups start” is generational growth. We want to see groups started that start new groups that start more new groups and so on.

In the days to come, I’ll be coaching David through the process of leading his Discovery Group & starting new Discovery Groups.

David’s DG (Discovery Group) is Generation 1. If a family member in David’s group starts another DG with some neighbors, that would be Generation 2. If one of those neighbors started another DG with their co-workers, that would be Generation 3. If one of those co-workers started another DG with some friends, that would be Generation 4 and so on. As we’re coaching these DGs, we’re encouraging them to read God’s Word, obey it, share it with others, and start new groups. That’s how you get generational growth.

Remember, movements are often measured using “multiple streams of 4th generation growth” as a guide.

Join us in praying that David’s Generation 1 DG starts a Generation 2 DG soon. One of our other DMM Churches has already seen a Generation 1 DG start a Generation 2 DG which is exciting!

Our DMM Coach, Stan, did prepare us that, around the world, most DGs do not become churches. He said it’s much like the Parable of the Sower. About 1 in 4 DGs actually make it. That’s why we’ve got to be out among the lost as much as possible, so we can see as many groups started as possible, so that hopefully 25% (or more) become functioning DMM Churches. As you can tell, this takes time.

One of the DMM Principles that you’ll learn in the DMM Training is “go slow to go fast.” This starts slow. You’re taking Jesus’ approach of looking for the person of peace, staying with them for awhile, and trusting that God will use them to bring the gospel to the neighborhood/community. It starts slow, but once it gets traction, it can produce rapid multiplication that reaches millions.

David Garrison, author of Church Planting Movements, answers the question, “How rapid is rapid?” by saying this:

Perhaps the best answer is, “Faster than you think possible.” Though the rate varies from place to place, Church Planting Movements always outstrip the population growth rate as they race toward reaching the entire people group.

Each of our DMM Church Planting Teams that we’ve sent out from eLife has this goal related to this element:

  • See 1 DG (Discovery Group) started per person per year

If there are 10 people on the DMM Team, they’re hoping to see 10 DGs started in a given year which would hopefully lead to planting 2 new churches each year (based on the 25% principle above).

Here’s a link to the See Groups Start message in a sermon series we recently did called Raise the Sails.

Part 6 – Cast Vision