Discipleship Groups FAQ




DISCIPLESHIP GROUPS FAQ



FAQ

What is a Discipleship Group (DG)?

A DG is a small group of people (ideally ~10) committed to challenging and encouraging each other to gradually conform more to the image of a disciple of Christ. These groups are led by an individual who will act in a “pastoral” fashion by leading discussions, challenging the group with poignant truths, and providing spiritual support, encouragement, and accountability. These groups will convene in a group member’s home on a permanent basis.

How long is a DG session?

Sessions last 2 hours – 2 hours and 15 minutes. They go by quickly! We start on time and always end on time.

What do you study in a DG?

The beauty of DGs is that each group will decide what they want to study. Curricula will be available on the DG website, and each group will take a look at the available choices, pick one, and follow that curricula accordingly. Each curricula will have a different # of talks/videos, and hence groups will be autonomous in when they finish with a particular topic and start a new one. The idea is to provide flexibility and relevance for each group. DGs will also be a vehicle for our priest to communicate urgent topics. For example, our priest may want to release a talk on new Supreme Court rulings that affect moral issues, and hence each DG would take a break from their curriculum to discuss our priest’s talk instead that particular week.

Will there be food?

Yes, although each group will be responsible for deciding the particulars. For example, it may be easier to simply offer coffee and cookies, whereas other groups may want to commit to a potluck dinner each week. There’s no pressure to do so, and each group should have a sensitive and thoughtful discussion about what is best for them. Remember, these groups don’t have an “end” point, so think about what will be easiest to do week after week, month after month.

I noticed that there are no formal meetings during the summer. What happens during that time?

This is also dependent upon the needs of your particular group. Keep in mind that in order for DGs to thrive, we must commit to being disciples “in season and out of season,” and we likewise strongly encourage everyone to keep meeting in some fashion during the summer months. This will also be helpful since our second DG launch in the parish will occur after the summer months. The summer may be a nice time to incorporate a shorter curriculum, to talk about specific current events, or to have more informal meetings where people can fellowship without a structured group discussion. Think of it as a “coffee break” for your group. Families with children may need to cut back to less frequent meetings to accommodate their busy summer schedules (for example) until the fall. It’s completely flexible and is meant to facilitate good fellowship within the group, but to accommodate busy summer schedules.

How long is the DG program?

Unlike other programs, DGs have no defined end date, but we ask that you commit to these groups for at least a whole calendar year. The goal is to form close-knit communities within our larger-parish family that support individual growth as disciples, and to serve as a source of loving accountability. Hence, the very nature of these groups is geared to be long-term, since our growth as disciples continues throughout the course of our lives. Another very real purpose for these groups is to provide continuity for our growth as Disciples despite changes in church dynamics or leadership as the years go by.

What happens if I don’t like my DG group?

Although we hope that everyone will find DGs to be helpful and their group members to be loving and supporting, we recognize that personal needs vary, schedules change, and some things just don’t work out. We will have “open enrollment” periods during the year that make it convenient for individuals to enter and exit groups discreetly. Also bear in mind that your DG leader will be empowered to escalate any challenges or negative issues to the DG coordinator/committee, and to our parish priests, if necessary. So if conflicts arise that are making your experience difficult, please speak to your leader, as we have mechanisms in place to refine each group so that everyone is blessed by their communities.

Can I invite a friend?

This would be a good thing to discuss with your fellow DG members. Bear in mind that we need to have reasonable group sizes and that interpersonal group dynamics can be dramatically altered by the addition of a new person. If the group seems open to it, and there’s an open slot available, then your DG leader will inform the DG Coordinator who will confirm availability. Otherwise, we’re encouraging everyone to join available or new DGs during our “open enrollment” periods during the year.

What happens if I want to sign up for a group later?

Some groups may have availability and willingness to take on new people throughout the year. Please contact the DG Coordinator/committee at dg@olgcparish.net. Otherwise, we’re encouraging everyone to join a group during our “open enrollment” periods during the year.

Will there be childcare?

There will be some DGs specific to couples with young children. We hope to add more groups as time goes on that can accommodate small children during the DG meeting. Otherwise, we ask that you make appropriate plans for your children during DG meetings.

Can I volunteer to be a DG leader?

Yes! We will offer periodic DG leader training so that new groups can be offered to our parish community. In addition to the training, we have a very helpful training guide and monthly meetings together with all leaders to provide support, encouragement, and to learn from everyone’s experiences as a leader. This is an essential aspect of DG leadership that allows us to continuously improve our groups and to effectively incorporate any changes that need to be made to all DGs.

Can I host a DG without being a leader?

Yes, absolutely. We’re very grateful for any open homes that can accommodate groups. Please contact the DG Coordinator, and we’ll note your availability. We may not have a group immediately ready to meet in your home, but we may have one in the near future that needs a good location.

Have a question?

Feel free to email us. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

DISPLAYING THE TEACHINGS IN A HOME

DVD Based Studies

If you are using the DVDs, all you need is a DVD player connected to a suitable display device. Some of the studies are available on Blue-Ray DVDs. If you are using a Blue-Ray DVD player, please let the OLGC staff know that you would like Blue-Ray DVDs if they are available for your selected study.

Online Studies

For the online versions of the studies, there are a number of options for displaying the teachings. All of the options require internet access via a computer or tablet.

Display Options

Smart TV

Many modern TVs allow direct access to the internet and it may be that the online studies can be accessed directly from a smart TV. Since the capabilities of these TVs differ greatly, it is not possible to know if a particular TV can work in this manner. We recommend that you try to connect to this site with your Smart TV and see if you can play any of the videos on that page. If so, then there is a reasonable chance your Smart TV can be used directly to access the studies.

Computer Connected to a TV

If you have a TV with an HDMI port (practically all newer TVs) and also a PC with an HDMI port, a long (50′) cable can be purchased at Amazon for less than $20.

Computer Connected to a Large Monitor or Projector

This is probably the most straightforward way to display the online teachings if you have a computer and a projector or large monitor. The study videos would be accessed on the computer and displayed on the projector or monitor.

Apple TV

Allows you to display videos streaming on your Mac, iPad, or even iPhone on a TV or other display device that contains an HDMI port. Using this option, you would access the study videos on your device and display it through Apple TV.
Apple TV starts at $149.

Chromecast

Similar to Apple TV in that it allows you to stream video from a computer, tablet or phone. It supports all the Apple devices that Apple TV supports and adds Android tablets and phones, Windows PCs (using the Chrome browser), and Chrome books. Chromecast also requires a TV with an HDMI port. Chromecast costs $35.