Disciples are made most effectively on mission, in community, and through life-on-life interactions.
Jesus calls all of his followers to be radically committed to Him (Matthew 16:24-26). We believe that commitment to Jesus includes commitment to his bride, the church. As a church family, we express our commitment to Jesus and His bride through involvement in Sunday gatherings (GATHER), community life (GO), and in a DNA group or Collective Learning (GROW), all of which provide ample opportunities to steward the gifts, talents and wealth God has given us (GIVE).
A DNA GATHERING GUIDE
THE DISCOVER, NURTURE, ACT PROCESS
At each meeting, a DNA group should walk through these three steps…
- Before your group gathering, study the weeks scriptures and thoughts on Collective Reading, then also observe and reflect on what's been happening in life recently.
- Out of this study/reflection, come ready to use the circle life shape to discuss your Kairos moments this week...
- Share with others in your DNA group what you discovered this week? What did you learn?
- How have you struggled with unbelief in your life this week? Area where we didn't act in the ways of Jesus or allow him Lordship.
- Where did the Spirit lead you to repentance and faith this week?
- What were you reminded of?
- Listen for the heart as each person shares during the Discover step.
- PLAN: Ask good questions to help bring clarity and transformation. Here's some guide questions...
- Do we make enough space for prayer?
- Do we pursue intimacy with Christ?
- What is on our hearts in intercession?
- Are we living in the power of the Spirit?
- Are we seeing personal revival?
- Are we afraid or nervous?
- Are we obedient to God's promptings?
- Do we love the flock? Our community?
- Is time a blessing or a curse?
- Are we resting enough?
- How are our relationships with friends?
- Do we keep our promises?
- How easy is it for us to trust people?
- Are we discipling others?
- Are we eating and sleeping well?
- Are we making ourselves vulnerable to others?
- Do we have a heart for those who don't know Jesus yet?
- How often do we share our faith?
- Are we running the race with perseverance?
- Are we dying to success?
- Are we proud or ashamed of the Gospel?
- Are we servants?
- Do we find it easy to recognise People of Peace?
- Are we taking risks?
- Highlight what you feel the Spirit has been speaking to your group and plan how you will respond in obedience.
- Ask one another about actions we decided to take at previous DNA gatherings? How have we got on? [Account]
- Pray together.
Other helpful life shapes which you can use in your DNA gatherings...
WHAT IS A DNA GROUP?
The term “DNA group” refers to a group that ideally consist of three people—men with men, women with women— who meet together twice a month. They seek to be known and to bring the gospel to bear on each other’s lives so that they grow to become more like Jesus.
DNA is an acronym that reminds us of three key components of discipleship: Discover, Nurture, and Act.
WHY SHOULD I BE IN A DNA GROUP?
As disciples who’ve been saved and made righteous, Paul exhorts us to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2). Discipleship requires life-on-life interaction, and can only happen in community. We grow primarily through the experience of life in gospel community. A DNA group can be a key catalyst for growth and transformation in our lives.
One of the main ways this happens is by giving each other regular reminders of the truth of the gospel. Hebrews 3:12 warns, “Take care, brothers and sisters, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” We are often tempted to forget who God is, what He’s done for us in Christ Jesus, who we are as a result, and how we live out of our new identity. Hebrews 3:13 says one of the major ways to prevent this “falling away from the living God” is to “encourage one another daily…so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Every single day we need to be encouraged with the truth that we are deeply loved and accepted by the Father purely on the basis of what Jesus has done! Our new identity as sons and daughters of God shapes everything about our life as disciples of Jesus. Understanding this new identity also gives us the boldness and humility to be honest with our DNA partners when we are tempted to hide our sin or to blame others. Regular encouragement from our DNA partners can be a significant help in our battle against sin and against the lies of the enemy.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF A DNA GROUP?
The overall goal of a DNA group is to foster discipleship relationships that help each person grow to become more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. The goal is not merely to hang out and have fun, or even to build friendships, though hopefully all of that will happen! The goal is to challenge one another to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
As disciples, we should experience transformation at every level, affecting our whole person: head, heart, hands - our body, mind and soul.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A DNA GROUP?
The members of a DNA group should be committed to meeting together regularly, usually for about 60-80 minutes. These meetings consist of sharing personal stories and struggles, asking questions, listening to each other, reading scripture, praying, speaking the truth in love, repenting and confessing sin, listening to the Holy Spirit, and submitting to one another. Beyond the meeting, however, DNA groups should seek to build trusting relationships by sharing everyday life together through the normal rhythms of life.