DBSY Facilitator Notes
The following principles are present in Discovery Groups (DG) that multiply. However, they are counter intuitive if you have previous experience leading a Bible study. Therefore, review these principles often, until you are familiar with them.
Emphasize the "I will" statements. It is essential that people share the results of their "I will" statements from the previous meeting, and declare them aloud for the upcoming meeting. Ask them to write down their own statements. If people obey the truths of Scripture, multiplication occurs.
Coach from outside the group. This is called the "three and out" rule. Don't function as the inside facilitator for a new group for more than three meetings. If possible, try not to facilitate in person at all. Instead, coach the natural leader of a newly formed group from the outside. You can do this through weekly coaching sessions. Facilitating the group from the inside on a long term basis displaces the natural facilitator and limits reproduction because they'll think it requires you to be present.
Coaching from the outside (from the beginning or by the third meeting) might feel counterintuitive at first, but eventually you will see the results. Outside coaching ignites multiplication because groups realize they possess all the necessary resources themselves to reproduce. Remember, the aim is not to start a group, but to start a group that starts more groups, and so on.
Don't teach. The job of the Discovery Group facilitator is to guide discussion, not provide answers. Simply ask the DBS questions. This will feel unfamiliar if you have previous experience leading a Bible study, but there is a good reason for it. When you provide answers, it intimidates people from starting and facilitating their own Discovery Groups. This is because they think they have to know the answers to people's questions to begin their own groups.
Instead, trust the Holy Spirit to be the teacher. John 16:13; 1 John 2:27 Direct people God for answers and to look for them in Scripture. If a person asks a question that isn't answered by the passage, encourage them to pray and read Scripture between meetings.
Remember, your aim is to model a leadership style that anyone can do.
Deepen a DBS with believers by asking simple follow up questions. Create deeper discussion by asking secondary questions. Good follow-up questions can generate transformative discussion. The key is to use the terms: What, why, how, when, where and who as springboards and link them to key words in the passage. For instance, the Mark 2:1-12 story could generate the following questions:
- "How did Jesus prove who He was to you?" Mark 2:10
- "Why might Jesus more interested in forgiving you than healing you?" Mark 2:5
- "Who brought you to Jesus?" Mark 2:3
- "When is the last time you were really amazed by Jesus?" Mark 2:12
- "What role did a home based ministry play in your spiritual life?" Mark 2:1
Notice the term "you" is in each question. This encourages a person to answer on behalf of themselves. Using the term you twice in the question reinforces this for those prone to wander off track in their answers by using "we" "they", "them" and "us" in their answers. For instance, "How did Jesus prove to you, yourself who he was?" Vs. 10
Also ask questions that direct people to Scripture to find answers. For instance, "What do the verses in the preceding passage say about why this is important?"
Regardless of the follow-up questions, make sure to circle back and ask for the "I will" response.
Coach well. Ongoing coaching is a critical element to multiplying Discovery Groups (DG). Healthy coaching consists of the following:
- Regular meetings: Schedule standing 45-60 minute meetings for at least twice a month via Zoom. Send reminders and encourage everyone to attend. Facilitate cross pollination by allowing everyone to contribute.
- Praise: Share "God stories." Experiences of the presence of God in disciple making.
- Review: Go over an element of the training to keep people aware of the key elements. People need several exposures to really "get it." This means emphasizing an aspect of Pray, Ask, Share, and Disciple" for Start Up coaching and reviewing one of the sails for "Multiply" coaching.
- Model: If able, personally show people how to make disciples. If distance is a factor, share storise of how you are doing it.
- Pray: Thank God for his past blessings, and ask for his future blessings.
Additional elements of good coaching
- Be a good listener; encourage others to brainstorm and problem solve.
- Be in a good place with the Lord; making sure the meeting is Spirit lead.
- Pray for those you are coaching; keeping your heart in the relationships.
- Encourage; affirm progress and celebrate victories.
- Speak truth; ask personal and tough questions.
- Servant heart; saying, "How can I serve you?" or "What is your next step and how can I help you get there?"
- Release; give them the freedom to grow and opportunity to lead.