The Unintended Consequence of “Going Deeper” in D-Group

The Unintended Consequence of “Going Deeper” in D-Group


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. Today, we will introduce two suspects that often come in a pair: the Deep Dive and the All-Star.

Suspect 1: Deep Dive 

The Problem with the Deep Dive Approach

The Deep Dive is all about going deeper. Deeper connection with other believers and deeper study of God’s word. It’s often how churches promote and approach D-Groups. It’s just a smaller group to help you “go deeper.” The problem with this is that Deep Dive confuses a byproduct of the group with its purpose. After 6-18 months in a D-Group, you will undoubtedly go deeper in friendships and in studying the Bible. But the purpose is always to develop people to become disciple-makers.

Churches who communicate D-Groups as a “Deep Dive” undoubtedly struggle to multiply their groups. Because what you win them with, you win them to. If the purpose of the group is deeper connection, why would these groups ever multiply? The focus should always be on developing disciple-makers who can go on to lead others.

Suspect 2: All-Star

The Pitfalls of the All-Star Approach

The All-Star comes from good intentions. The staff wants to make sure that people are receiving everything they need to become a mature follower of Jesus. The problem is that over time, the format of the group becomes too complex, or the leadership preparation for the group becomes too heavy.

Though we don’t want to water-down Discipleship Groups, we must fight for simplicity. A helpful mantra to remember is “Simplicity leads to reproducibility.” If your D-Group isn’t simple and straightforward to understand and to lead, you will create a ministry that can only be led well by the all-stars of your congregation. Ideally, we want a simple format that is approachable and attainable for a new leader who is stepping up to make disciples for the first time.

It’s essential to remember that the purpose of D-Groups is not just to go deeper or to receive everything we need to grow in our faith. The purpose is to become disciple-makers ourselves, to reproduce what we have learned and experienced in our own lives. By avoiding the pitfalls of the Deep Dive and the All-Star, we can create healthy, thriving D-Groups that multiply and make a lasting impact.

In conclusion, we encourage you to think about your approach to D-Groups. Are you unintentionally promoting a Deep Dive or an All-Star approach? If so, take steps to simplify and refocus on developing disciple-makers. With intentional leadership, we can create a culture of discipleship that multiplies and transforms lives for generations to come.


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!