Step 1: Invite

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:

  • Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus?
  • Do you know what the Old Testament says about Jesus?
  • Have you ever wondered why Jesus’ birth is such as big deal?

 

Step 2: Gather

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).

Step 3: Connect

Before you engage with the scripture for the week, have each person share:

  • What are you thankful for this week?
  • What has challenged or stressed you this week?
  • Do you or anyone you know have a need the group can meet together?

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.

Step 4: Read

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.


Step 5: Discover

This is where we let the scripture speak to each of us by exploring the answers found in the text to the following questions.

  • What does this passage teach us about God
  • What does this passage teach us about people?
  • What will you do this week in response to this passage?
  • Who will you share with this week?

Advent & Christmas Discovery Group Brochure

Scripture & Bookmarks

Week 4: Starting 12/20

Isaiah 9:2-7
Bookmark

 

Week 5: Christmas Eve or Day

Revelation 7:9-17
Bookmark

 

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:

  1. Bible App - For participants who may not have a Bible or know how to navigate through it, we highly recommend the free YouVersion app (2,062 Bible versions in 1,372 languages).
  2. Prayer Team - Inviting people to do a Discovery Group is new to all of us at Oakdale. We have a team that will pray with and for you during the process of discerning who God has prepared for you to invite. Contact: Christy Long, , or Wayne Bauman, .
  3. Coaching - Anyone—even non-believers—can facilitate a Discovery Group. But once you’ve got a group together, coming to one of our weekly peer-coaching groups online will help you better understand the essential disciple-making “DNA” that is behind each of the 7 questions. There are currently 6 sessions (2 daytime and 4 evening) available during the week. Contact: Anne Jordan, .
  4. Technical Assistance - If you would like to use one of Oakdale’s Zoom accounts, which do not have the 40-minute limit, contact Anne Jordan,

Are you in?

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