I wanted to create an entry about my experiences in leading a Dgroup but where do I start? It’s been more than four years already since I started my journey leading my own Dgroup. A Dgroup, is a discipleship group where you grow and study the word of God together. I feel undeserving but God has entrusted me to lead such fine individuals. Let me take you through my memory lane. This entry acknowledges that there is only one person who has hold together this group for more than four years and we collectively praise God for what He has done to us and what He is doing to do.
It was summer of 2008 when I was called. I remember I was in La Union on a vacation surfing trip during that time and someone called me to challenge me to start leading a group for the Reborn Identity Jzone Camp – I said “yes!” When camp came, I was very nervous it was my first time to lead a group and I have so many questions in my mind:
- How can I make sure no one is left out and everyone will be engaged in the discussion?
- Will they even listen to me?
- How can I get to know them personally?
- What are the things that they may be going through?
There was even someone in the group I was very terrified with. Every time I start discussing the lesson and talking to them he seems to be giving me that scary look. One wrong word seems like he is going to go crazy and beat me up. But that was me imagining crazy things and as it turned out this guy was one of the men I have mentored and have taken care of as my little brother. Although he is right now in another country he will always be remembered by me and our group. We wait the time that we will meet him again.
After camp, I definitely tired my best to remain in contact with them and schedule regular Dgroup meetings with them and as much as I can, I regularly texted them. I wanted them to know that I am here for them and have really desired that their relationship with God grow. Our group even grew and I was privileged to disciple one person who right now is doing great things for God. This person was very passionate for the Lord. I have always seen great things ahead for him and how he is leading the JZONE ministry in Alabang is an evidence of it.
I cannot completely recall all the details of what happened the past four years. There are so many things that have happened. From the Reborn Identity camp, I have experienced three other JZONE camps where I lead my group again and even had the privilege of serving with them because some of them started leading their group already in one of those camps.
After Reborn Identity (2008) camp was Trip (2009)
Followed by Face the Book of Life (2010)
And then “Without Limits” (2011)
The 2012 JZONE camp was the first camp I have missed after 4 years. It was hard for me to accept it during that time since I really wanted to be there to see my men serve and just be there for them. But God has a different plan for me since it was also just this year that He has started to grow the B1G South Singles’ ministry where I am called to actively serve and be involved with.
I also planned Dgroup outings every year. Our first outing was last 2009 in Fontana. We locked ourselves in the villa and tackled a series about the life we were meant to live. It was a great time to be out of town with them for the first time and I have never imagined that the succeeding years will be full of fun memories with them in different outing locations. The following year (2010) we had our outing in Tagaytay, which was very memorable because we tried squeezing everyone (8 all-in-all) in our CRV. Along with the bags and everyone in the car we can barely move inside – thank God I was the driver. Haha. In that outing we played poker, watched movies, played sports and most of all had devotions and it was awesome! After our Tagaytay Trip, I wanted to go to a place far away from home and I wanted my boys to experience camping so I planned our next outing to be in Anawangin. I can honestly say it was not how I expected it to be. Although we enjoyed the feeling of roughing it out in the wild the place was really crowded and I feel that we haven’t been able to fellowship that much since the area was very big and anyone in the group has the freedom to go anywhere they want. So come 2012 we planned an outing that is simple and in a small secluded place. I rented a house with a pool in Laguna just for an overnight stay. We arrived in the house at around 2pm and even though pool is not yet filled-up during that time we still made the most out of it and played with the shallow water we have. We have a video for all the crazy things we did but as much as I want to show it to everyone, our bodies are not fit to be scattered in the internet. We played our favorite game called “MAFIA” and there we got to know who is a good bluffer and who is keen in observing people. Even on the way home we stopped as Nuvali and played “MAFIA” once again.
Aside from the JZONE camps we attend together, the Dgroup outings we had, and the regular Dgroup Meetings we would do every Friday, there were so many other activities that we did.
From organizing a “Despidida” party when someone from our group left us to migrate to another country, to supporting a dreaming- rock star-who-turned-into-a-ministry-head in one of his concerts, having poker nights, celebrating birthdays and other group activities – all these things were done to show our support and love for one another as brothers in Christ. And Christmas parties where we take the time to be very grateful for how God has truly blessed us and how He has allowed us to experience his love through the company of each other.
Truly there are just so many things that have happened that I cannot even write it all down! Leading a Dgroup was something that I didn’t envision I’ll be doing someday. I never knew how much it is an honour to be given such responsibility until you experience it personally. With the 4 years that has passed I am just in awe at how God has worked. Four guys in my group are now leading their own Dgroup and there are others who are serving in a ministry. We have grown together in past four years that we have studied and discussed the word of God together. I am just thankful to God for allowing me to experience this joy and I am hoping that those who are not yet leading their own group will experience this joy someday as well.
I just want to leave a piece of advice to anyone looking at discipleship or have that desire to lead their own group someday. Time is such an important element that you need to consider. This is something that I have really sacrificed and have given to my group. I have always told them to make time for Dgroup and not find the time and it applies that same to those who will be leading their own group. You need make the time to prepare for your lesson. You need to make the time to talk to them and have one-on-one discussions with them. You need to make the to time schedule Dgroup outing and activities with them. I have always been passionate about discipleship because I have experienced that joy that comes with it. Despite the busyness of life spending time with my group is something I make time for. Yes, time will always be asked from you once you start leading – that is the cost of following Jesus.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, NASB)
But the experience that comes with it is just so priceless. In return you get to see how God can use you to touch people’s lives. You get to experience the love and support of your group as well when you need it. And when you need to prepare for a lesson to teach, you’re even the one learning it you go through it. There are so many things in store for those taking this challenge. I have learned and grown the past four years and again, I am really just very grateful to God for calling me to experience it.
This is an entry of a grace showered individual about my experience of leading a Dgroup because I do not feel worthy of such responsibility. It is truly just because of the grace of God that I can stand and lead. At times I have felt tired and in my own strength and own capability I know I will fail and will fall short of what He wants me to do. Praise and Glory to Him alone for what He has done and what He is going to do in me and in my Dgroup. If you have your own personal testimony of how God has used you to lead a discipleship group, leave me a comment below and let’s continue to inspire and encourage one another in doing the great commission.