What is a DNA Group?
The term “DNA group” refers to a group that ideally consists of 3-4 people - men with men, women with women - who meet together weekly. DNA Groups provide a structure for us to care deeply for one another and to foster growth as disciples of Jesus. DNA is an acronym that reminds of us three key components of discipleship: Discover, Nurture, and Act. A DNA group should be a major factor in our growth as a disciple (someone who is learning to apply the gospel to absolutely every part of life).
WHY SHOULD I BE IN A DNA GROUP?
Discipleship requires life-on-life interaction, and can only happen in community with others who are also wanting to know more about living for Jesus. A DNA group can be a key catalyst for growth and transformation in our lives. One of the main ways this happens is by giving each other regular reminders of the truth of the gospel. We need to be encouraged with the truth that we are deeply loved and accepted by God purely on the basis of Jesus has done! We need to be challenged to always be learning new things about God and His Word. We also need to be humble and honest with our DNA partners when we are tempted to hide our sin or blame others.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF A DNA GROUP?
The overall goal of a DNA group is to foster discipleship relationships that help each person grow to become more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. The goal is not merely to hang out and have fun, or even to build friendships, though hopefully all of that will happen! The goal is to challenge one another to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A DNA GROUP?
The members of a DNA group should be committed to meeting together regularly (weekly), usually for about an hour, in places such as a coffee shop, restaurant, home, or church building. These meetings consist of asking listed questions, listening to each other, reading scripture, praying, repenting and confessing sin when needed, and listening to the Holy Spirit. This will take place by discussing the weekly study guide for a particular Bible passage and questions given to the church as a whole. Studying the Bible individually, and then as a group, will help deepen your understanding of the scripture and also how to apply it to your life. It gives each member a place to ask questions, discuss thoughts, and see growth. As followers of Jesus, we should experience transformation at every level, affecting our whole person: head, heart, hands. The specific discipleship goals for a DNA group meeting can be understood through the acronym:
Discover: Led by the Holy Spirit, the group will study the Bible and ask the Study Questions. The goal is to teach the head.
Nurture: Led by the Holy Spirit, the group will repent and believe in the gospel. The goal is to shepherd the heart.
Act: Led by the Holy Spirit, the group will listen and obey as he calls us to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. The goal is to empower the hands. Do something for Jesus.
DNA GROUP GROWTH, MULTIPLICATION, AND TRANSITION
All DNA partners should experience openness with each other, and some may even find friendships that continue long after they have transitioned into another DNA. DNA groups may stay together for a few months or a year. The goal is that, after a significant time of growth, God is leading them to make strategic discipleship investments in other people, that they need to “multiply” their efforts as a group. Still others will be forced to navigate the inevitable changes that life throws their way - people losing interest, people moving away, multiplication - with grace and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
DNA GROUP FORMATION
As Gracepoint Church transitions to teaching and discipleship primarily taking place within the format of DNA groups and Missional Communities, the DNA groups will initially be formed based upon those who express an interest in participating or leading a group. With the goal of multiplication, the focus of these initial DNA groups will be to grow and be transformed together, but also prayerfully be seeking others who can be added to a group, and then multiplied by forming new DNA groups.