Here are three ways to keep your D-Group rooted in the Word:
F-260 Reading Plan
The F-260 is a 260-day reading plan from Replicate Ministries that presents the grand story of Scripture. This plan contains 5 weekly readings that range in length from 1 to 3 chapters a day.
HEAR Journals [sample H.E.A.R. entry]
HEAR Journals are a great way to engage in deeper study with your D-Group. This simple acronym serves as a guide for journaling through what you’re reading in God’s Word. Each week, D-Groups gather to discuss the highlights of what they’ve read, taking time to explain, apply, and respond to the truth of the Scriptures to their lives.
Jesus modeled for us the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts. In Matthew’s gospel alone, Jesus made over 40 references to the Scriptures. The F-260 Reading Plan also offers a Scripture memory track that runs parallel with each week’s readings.
THE ROLE OF GOD'S WORD IN MAKING DISCIPLES
Every believer is on a journey; a journey on which we are progressively becoming less like the dead us and more like the living Christ (Romans 6). Jesus taught that this process was perpetuated through discipleship and powered by the Word of God. As we walk in the Word, we are repeatedly exposed to the person and work of Jesus. In this, the Holy Spirit helps us to see His presence in each passage. We're reminded that the entire narrative of Scripture centers on the story of the Gospel; namely, that we are sinful people, separated from a Holy God, and that we've been offered salvation by grace, through faith in the Son.
In John 17:17, Jesus prayed that all who followed Him would be continually sanctified (set apart) by these truths. This makes the Bible the basis for our spiritual growth and an absolutely essential element within any discipleship relationship.
Paul, who throughout his life placed great importance on making disciples, wrote to Timothy (one of his disciples) about the value of remaining rooted in the Word.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV)
From a young age, Timothy had been taught the Scriptures, and now, though a pastor, Paul is encouraging him to remain rooted in the Word. Stated simply, we never outgrow our need for the Scriptures!
As Paul writes, the Scriptures make us wise for salvation. This literally means that the Word of God is continually reminding us of our dependence upon the work of God that was carried out in Christ Jesus. Paul knew from personal experience (1 Timothy 1:12-17); the more one meditates upon the Scriptures, the more aware they become of their sin and the more appreciative they become of the Gospel.
Not only does the Word work in us, it also works through us. Paul points Timothy to the reality that the Scriptures are sufficient for every effort he might undertake. Long before commentaries, books, seminaries or podcasts, was the Word. While the Lord often uses other resources to help us gain clarity or guide our study, none of them are alone capable of carrying on God’s work in the hearts of men. Continual sanctification comes only as we expose ourselves (and those we lead) to the timeless truths within His Word.
As you consider Christ’s call to make disciples, understand that you’ve been given a textbook which is both tried and true. Every word was inspired by God and relates to His redemptive mission. As disciple-makers, we long to see God make His Word as real and relevant to others as it is to us. By spending time in the Scriptures, both personally and with our groups, the result is real growth — both deep and wide — which penetrates even the hardest of hearts for the glory of the Father. Acts 6:7 reminds us of this truth: And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
As you begin your Group, commit to remaining rooted in the Word! Say with the psalmist, “Your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” Let each group meeting be guided by the Gospel story, growing together in the knowledge of His grace.