What Is a Discipleship Group and Why Should I Join One?

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November 11, 2020 by

Discipleship Groups have been the greatest influence in my spiritual growth and life the last four years at Cedarville. Cedarville University is rich with classes, chapels, experiences, and opportunities for spiritual growth, but discipleship ministries and discipleship groups have by far been the most influential in my life. So what is all this about? 

“Discipleship Ministries at Cedarville exists to cultivate happy, resilient people for the glory of God and the good of others through delight filled meditation on God’s Word.”

 – Aaron Cook, Director of Discipleship Ministries 

That mission statement is lived out on campus through discipleship groups. Discipleship groups are groups of male and female students who meet once a week to go through either a book of the Bible or a selected Christian living book. These groups can all look very different. Sometimes these groups are a group of friends, sometimes all from one residence hall, but most often these groups are composed of people from all different majors, halls, and academic year. 

I personally have experienced all of these different dynamics. My freshman year I studied the book “Marks of the Messenger,” and all of the guys in my D-Group were from my unit of Lawlor;  we were led by an upperclassmen from the unit. My sophomore year I served as a Discipleship Leader and led a group of guys from all over campus, most of whom had never met before, through the book The Hole in Our Holiness. My junior year I led another group of guys from around campus through the book of Phillipians. Thankfully, some of the guys from my group the previous year came back again. It was really encouraging to lead guys multiple years and watch them grow in their love for the Lord and their love for one another. As a senior I serve on Discipleship Council, which means I serve and equip the Discipleship Leaders and help encourage them to lead their groups well. The reason I share these details is to show that groups can look pretty differently from year to year, and the topics you study can vary greatly as well. 

So how did these groups help me grow? 

Before I came to Cedarville, I had never experienced genuine discipleship, where the people around me knew everything about me and were holding me accountable in all areas of my life. I had never been exhorted from God’s Word consistently week after week by someone my age who was walking alongside me and doing life with me. Not only did I meet with the guys in my group during our meeting times, but often individually one on one we would share our lives, hearts, and what the Lord was teaching us. 

Discipleship Ministries taught me that God doesn’t just care about our lives on Sunday, but He wants to be involved with every area of our lives. My Discipleship Leaders have become my closest friends and the greatest influence over my spiritual walk during my time at Cedarville. They helped take all of the great experiences of chapel and Bible classes and make it personal and taught me how to apply those lessons in everyday life.

Discipleship groups are not just another Bible study small group. In discipleship groups you will also experience fun game nights, competing in campus events together, and sharing meals together. True genuine life arm in arm with other believers is challenging to find, but you will have the opportunity to find it in abundance in a Cedarville Discipleship Group. 

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