What is a D/Group? A D/Group is a closed group, rather than an open group. Community Groups and Bible studies are open groups; that is, they are open to anyone and everyone who would like to attend. A D/Group is, by design, closed to a handful of people. A person joins the group by invitation only. The recommend size is 3-5 people of the same gender (including the leader).
The purpose of a D/Group is completely different. While Community Groups and Bible studies exist for the purposes of growth and fellowship, they have an underlying additional purpose: evangelism. Community Groups are designed to reach lost people by getting them involved in the group. A D/Group, in contrast, consists of believers who desire a deeper walk with Christ. It is not evangelistic in its form or function, but in its fruit: it makes disciples, who then make disciples.
The setting of the D/Group is completely different. It is the shift from a lecture atmosphere with one teacher facilitating a discussion of a room full of students to an intimate, accountable relationship with a handful of like-minded people. This blueprint, sketched by Jesus Christ through His personal example, is how discipleship is accomplished in the lives of believers, and, ultimately, within the local church. When this plan is followed, those involved will participate in three dynamics that result in a growth in their personal lives, as well as in the Kingdom: community, accountability, and multiplication.
The resources we use for D/Groups are the Bible and the book Growing Up by Robby Gallaty and his Replicate Ministries. You can purchase a book in The Cove for $10. For more information, visit: https://replicate.org/growingupchallenge/.