What is a DNA Group and How Can I Start One?
Whether you are new to Tapestry or have been around for some time, DNA groups may still be unclear to you. However, if you want to grow in your personal relationship with the Lord, a DNA group is a helpful place for you to start.
What is a DNA group?
We are a church that values growing in our relationship with Jesus, and a DNA group is a resource for how to structure small group discipleship. A DNA group is a group of 2-3 people meeting with the purpose of personal discipleship. Whereas missional communities are primarily directed towards outward mission and serving, a DNA group is focused on helping one another grow in our relationship with God. So what does DNA stand for?
Discover (Hear and Obey): Discover is the first step to a DNA group, and it begins with either reading the Bible together or discussing what God is teaching you in your time with him throughout the week. This is a simple time to come together and talk about what God is teaching us through his word. In your reading, four questions can help you understand and apply the Bible. 1. Who is God? 2. What has God done? 3. Who are we? 4. How should we live?
Nurture (Repent and Believe): Once we hear the Word of God, we have a responsibility to respond. At this point, a DNA group should tenderly guide one another in asking ourselves the question: Am I really believing this truth about God and his people? Most of the time, the truths we discover in God’s word are more difficult to believe and apply than simply understand. During the “Nurture” time, we discuss how what we discovered reveals about the brokenness within our own hearts. And it is in genuinely believing this truth that our hearts and actions are changed.
Act (Consider and Pray): The result is that genuine belief leads to application. Here we ask what should we do now in light of what we are learning and believing about God. One question that you can ask yourself during this time is: “If I really believed what I just discovered, how would my life look different?” At the end of this time, it is important to end in prayer for each individual. This is also the perfect time to pray for those people in our lives who have yet to follow Jesus.
A Short Example…
Ira and Declan meet at Starbucks for their DNA group. Discover: During this time, they study “The Golden Rule” in the Gospel of Luke together. Nurture: As they process what they are learning, it becomes clear that a pressing issue for Declan is the bitterness that he feels against one of his friends. He feels disregarded, and in response his attitude is unforgiving. However, during this time, Declan and Ira discuss how what they learned impacts this attitude. For instance, Jesus said, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35–36). Yet, when we are bitter, unforgiving, or harsh towards others, we prove that we have not yet believed what God displayed by sending his Son to die for us! In response, Declan turns from this wrong view of God and others, and he begins to ask God to change his actions accordingly. Act: Declan chooses to forgive this person in his heart. Since it was a small issue, he asks the Holy Spirit to turn his bitterness into love for this person. Declan and Ira close by praying for one another and their friends who need to hear the gospel that week.
How can I start?
DNA groups are only as effective as the frequency and quality of the meetings. So if you do not have someone in your life who you can meet together like this, then maybe God is calling you to reach out to someone new today. Remember, these groups work best when they include only 2-3 individuals of the same gender. Here are two helpful tips for how to start:
- Start with people in your missional community. It is most effective to meet with those people you already have a habit of serving with. If you are not currently in a missional community, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can join one!
- Set a time and place each week. Normally 1-1.5hrs is best for this type of meeting. Whether you meet at home, a coffee shop, or a shared office– the location and style of your meetings can be as diverse as the individuals in your group.
**Here is a helpful document to guide you! Please click on the image to view them in higher resolution.