The Two Strategies That Growth-Oriented Leaders Most Struggle With

The Two Strategies That Growth-Oriented Leaders Most Struggle With

This month, we are giving you a sneak peek into one of our favorite exercises: D-Group Case Files. After working with thousands of churches on D-Groups, we boiled down the most common pitfalls for D-Groups. Over the next few weeks, we are sharing the 8 strategies that kill D-Groups. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into two of the most challenging suspects: All-in and Microwave.


Suspect 7: All-In

The All-in strategy says, “Let’s get everyone involved in D-Groups right now.” This leader often has such a passion for Discipleship Groups that they want to get everyone in a group…today! This leader will often approach promotion of groups from a platform-mentality. This is because this is the only way he or she has ever recruited for any new ministry.

The danger of promoting from the platform is that they call anyone and everyone to join a D-Group. The problem is that not every person is ready for a D-Group. The high commitment of the D-Group requires a person who has already shown faithfulness and developed relationships with other believers. When you open it up to anyone and everyone, people respond to the new thing or because they love the pastor. Neither of which will sustain them through the duration of the group if they haven’t committed to the church family at a more entry-level like Small Group or a Volunteer Team. 

The All-In approach is deceptive because it will produce an immediate surge in numbers. The problem is that these numbers fizzle out as quickly as they came and regaining momentum is exponentially harder the second attempt to start D-Groups. 

Suspect 8: Microwave

The Microwave approach is all about speeding up the process at the expense of quality. We all can taste the difference between a microwave meal and a crockpot meal. The same can be said for a D-Group that isn’t given enough time to develop.

Because D-Groups are about spiritual formation, we must go at the pace of spiritual growth. Most Engagement ministries can get started and see immediate growth. For Discipleship Groups, the leader must focus on the future. Engagement ministries are addition ministries while Empowerment ministries are multiplication ministries. D-Groups are slower at the beginning, but over time their growth becomes exponential.


In conclusion, the All-in and Microwave strategies are two of the most challenging suspects for growth-oriented leaders when it comes to D-Groups. While these leaders have great intentions of growing D-Groups so they reach as many as possible, they can unintentionally lead to the downfall of the group if they are not careful. By being aware of these pitfalls and taking a more intentional approach to D-Group leadership, leaders can create a thriving, empowered D-Group that allows for true growth and transformation in its members.


Join Our D-Group Co-Lab this Fall

If you’re looking to prioritize Discipleship Groups in your church this fall, consider joining our Discipleship Group Co-Lab from August to December. We will guide the first 10 churches that sign up to launch, relaunch, or sustain their D-Groups for the next year. If you’re interested, click here to learn more.

Click here to apply now!