During Advent, we’d like to see dozens of new Discovery Groups started by inviting non-believers in one of your social or professional networks. They could be friends, neighbors, co-workers, or the people in your pandemic pods, COVID co-ops or quarantine bubbles.
Since it’s best that group members already have pre-existing relationships, it’s not recommended that you mix people from these different circles in the same group.
Facilitating a Discovery Group is easy because it uses the same simple, repeatable format every week to read and discuss a passage of Scripture.
The Advent/Christmas season is the perfect time because people are more open to meaningful conversations about spiritual things, including Jesus.
Pray about who to invite—then “make the ask.” These questions might help jump-start your conversations:
With a little creativity and/or technology, Discovery Groups can meet safely in-person—perhaps even outdoors in the winter with a propane heater, firepit or chiminea, blankets and hot chocolate—or virtually via FaceTime, Google Meet, Skype or Zoom.
We encourage you to start with a fun activity around a Christmas theme (see resources below).
Before you engage with the scripture for the week, have each person share:
These three Discovery Group questions provide a connection that many people long for and rarely experience. They also help open hearts wider to God’s Word. At the start of weeks 2-5, ask each person how they did with their two “I will…” commitments. Celebrate where everyone did well and encourage folks to take steps in obedience this next week.
Each week, have two people read the Scripture passage—in different translations, if possible. After reading have the group rebuild the passage from memory together. See below for the weekly scripture and worksheets you can use with your group.
This is where we let the scripture speak to each of us by exploring the answers found in the text to the following questions.
Here is a list of resources our church staff has developed or gathered to help you to facilitate a discovery group with your network, extended family or at home: