The DDA provides group leaders a unique opportunity to schedule the content of a discipleship growth group in a way that perfectly adapts to the specific, identified needs of that group. While there are many books and curricula for group use on the market today, they all have one thing in common. They are written on a topic that someone must decide is the topic of interest or concern for their specific group. This is not necessarily bad, but you are sure to find that there are times when the curriculum or the chapter under discussion is not relevant for some part of the group and that this could result in members becoming less engaged. The DDA, however, provides you with a report on the specific growth needs that your entire group has identified. This increases the possibility that individual members of the group will remain engaged. They know that they have had an opportunity to confidentially provide their group leader with the information that he/she needs to develop a curriculum that is sure to benefit their personal discipleship journey.
Because the DDA remains confidential, a group leader never receives the scores of a group member. When you establish a group, you will get access to the DDA Dashboard that gives the average scores of the entire group on each of the 5 Dimensions and all 35 Discipleship Outcomes. This is a treasure trove of valuable information and will allow you tailor your group’s sessions around the average scores as specifically identified by your group! When you launch the sessions, group members can be presented with the group’s average scores and they can compare their private, confidential score with that of the whole group. This is already a potential source of valuable information for the member. How do my scores compare to those of my group? In what way does it appear that I can be a source of help to others who have lower scores than mine? What can I learn from others who feel more confident in this Discipleship Outcome?
Here are the steps that a group leader takes to incorporate the DDA into their curriculum planning.
- As the leader you go online and register yourself the same way any individual would register, with your email and your own password. This will take you to your own Discipleship Dynamics Home Page. We have an entire help file to assist you in the technical aspects of creating a group and distributing the group link to individuals.
- When your group is taking the Assessment, your Dashboard will allow you to monitor how many have begun the Assessment, how many have finished, and how many still need to complete the work. You can send them a reminder to finish the Assessment before a specific date which you have determined to enable you to start work on analyzing the average group scores.
- Your Group Leader Dashboard will provide you with the average scores of all participants in all 5 Dimensions and the 35 Outcomes. You will be able to identify the Outcomes that are the strong suit of the group, and these should be celebrated together. You will also be able to identify the Outcomes that drew the lowest scores. These are the ones that will need your attention to prepare material and discussion points for the coming sessions.
- Now you will be able to schedule the sessions for the group. In your planning, create time to celebrate the strong Outcomes from the group. Secondly, decide how long you will spend with the Outcomes that need attention. Finally, be sure to allow time at the end for the group to take their second, free Assessment. The results of the “post-test” could elicit significant further discussions.
- You are now in a position to inform the group of the agenda for the period of the group meetings. You can devote a short period on the strong average scores or devote all your available time to the more problematic Outcomes. Some group leaders have even decided to spend a session on each of the 35 Outcomes, while others who have only a limited time as a group together have decided to spend one session on every one of the 5 Dimension. These are all valuable strategies that can be determined by the group and the time commitment that they have given to you.
- At the first session, members would bring their confidential assessment with them and participate in the discussions as they pursue their road to healthy discipleship.
- With the presentation of every Outcome, the group should spend time investigating the scriptures and discuss how their score on this Outcome impacts their Christian witness in their world. We also have developed a list of books and resources on the Dimensions that we feel can be helpful to assist in this journey.
- Between your sessions you can give the group members homework to read, study, and meditate on the identified Outcome until they are able to understand how they need to discipline themselves to achieve that Outcome in their daily life
- You can progress from one Outcome to another as fast as the context and the time commitment of the group allows you to deal with more Outcomes
- After a period of growth and development you can ask the group to return to the website and take the free, re-assessment. The re-assessment will display the new scores on your Dashboard and compare them with the ones of the initial Assessment. At this point, you may find that some other scores are now in need of attention, and that your group has a new set of strong points. Discipleship is a dynamic process that requires us to constantly adapt our responses to changing life circumstances. This is how you can help the body of Christ to show what “walking in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) is actually all about!