The spiritual disciplines are a catalyst that God works through to grow us spiritually. I love what Donald Whitney says in his book Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life, “The road to spiritual maturity always passes through the spiritual disciplines.” In a D-group, we recommend three disciplines; Bible reading and journaling, scripture memory and prayer. I believe that these disciplines are foundational.
Bible Reading & Journaling
Week after week we are admonished by Pastor Robby Gallaty to “get into the Word until the Word gets into you.” This saying actually comes directly from scripture. Consider this passage in Colossians.
Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16, CSB)
Paul admonishes these believers to “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you.”In other words they are to allow the Word to abide in them in full measure. These believers were to get into the Word until the Word gets into them!
One of the easiest ways to get into Scripture is to read the Word and journal. An easy way to get into journaling through the Word is by practicing the H.E.A.R. technique: Highlight a passage of Scripture, Explain what it means in context, Apply it to your life, and Respond to the truth God revealed to you in His Word. We have a number of resources available to help you out if you’d like to know more about H.E.A.R. Journaling.
As you read the Word, God speaks to you. As He speaks to you through His Word, you share and explain the truth of the scripture in your own words, apply it to your life, and respond to God! We recommend that members of a D-Group journal daily.
In addition to reading systematically through the Bible and journaling daily, we encourage our D-Groups to memorize scripture weekly.
It may surprise you that nowhere in scripture are we commanded to memorize His Word. However, it is frequently implied. Consider the following passage.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word. 10 I have sought you with all my heart; don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you. (Psalm 119:9-11, CSB)
The key to the discipline of scripture memory is review! You know the old saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
In addition to reading the Bible and journaling, we recommend every D-Group memorizes scripture weekly.
We not only read and journal the Word daily and memorize scripture weekly, but we pray constantly. As someone has said, prayer is a “never ending conversation with God.” The more we pray, the more we show that we are dependent upon Him and not ourselves!
I love what E.M. Bounds said, “You can’t rightly talk to men about God until first you talk to God about men.”
So, in a D-Group we spend time praying for one another. I recommend spending at least 20 minutes of your D-Group time in prayer! As I tell my groups, this is not a time to “catch up” on your prayer life; rather, it is a time to pray specifically for the needs of the members in your D-Group.
This is a very effective way to let your members know that you really depend upon God and care for them. In fact, in one of my groups one man was touched so deeply, he wept!
Prayer is vital to the health of the group!
So as you meet in you discipleship groups, remember to read the Bible and journal daily, memorize scripture weekly, and pray constantly!
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