So, you’re ten weeks into your discipleship group and you realize something strange: You’re getting close to these people you’ve been meeting with. Really close. You’re starting to be able to tell them things you didn’t think you’d be able to talk about with anyone else. You’re starting to get in the rhythm of practicing spiritual disciplines alongside others.
Sounds great, right? Well, there’s only one problem. Because the group is going so well, it’s getting harder to fit everything into your time together. If this is your situation, what you need is an agenda.
This week, we are going to explain how to create a schedule for your discipleship group so you can get the most out of your meetings.
Elements of a Useful Schedule
Unfortunately, there is no single schedule that works for every discipleship group. But there are certain elements that every successful schedule has. They are:
- Scripture Memory
- Bible Reading & Journaling
The amount of time you devote to each of these elements, and the order in which you follow them, depends on your group’s unique identity. Sometimes you’ll need to spend a little more time in prayer than you ordinarily would. If you have memorized a large portion of Scripture together, it might take a little longer than normal to recite it. Whatever the situation, one thing remains the same: you should make sure to leave some time for each of these elements.
The second thing to keep in mind when creating your discipleship group schedule is that Scripture is your primary textbook. When you are trying to figure out how much time to devote to each element of your schedule, you can safely devote the majority of your time to discussing HEAR Journals and diving into the reading from the previous week.
Tips for Creating a Discipleship Group Schedule
- Set a hard end time. Everyone in your group has responsibilities outside of your discipleship group meetings (work, school, family, appointments, etc.). Make the most of your time together not by adding time to your meeting but by better organizing the time you already have. Your group members will thank you.
- Set expectations upfront. If your group knows that you will meet for 90 minutes and only 90 minutes, it is more likely that your meeting will be productive and impactful.
- Use the two-minute warning. If you are in the middle of something important (like sharing a struggle, testimony, or reciting a particularly long passage) when your meeting is coming to an end, there will be a temptation to let the clock run a little longer than usual. But resist that temptation and don’t be afraid to announce a friendly two-minute “wrap it up” warning if a discussion is getting a little too long.
“Wrapping up” this blog post
Every discipleship group’s schedule is going to be different; there’s no way around it. But the tips above can help you create a schedule that works for your group’s unique needs.
If you need any additional resources on how to run a discipleship group, feel free to browse our website at replicate.org/dgroup.