Discipleship, Nurture & Apostolic Mission (DNA) Groups, a facet of a Micro-Churches are small gender-specific (men with men, women with women) gathering of 2 to 4 disciples of Christ who are helping each other become transformed into Christ’s likeness, and advance Christ’s kingdom in every area of life.
- Discipleship. By definition, a disciple is a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ. Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christlike. This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God. This requires that we be in the Word daily—studying it, praying over it, and obeying it. In addition, we should always be ready to give testimony of the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) and to disciple others to walk in His way.
- Nurturing Relationships. Humans were never created to be alone. We are social beingss and have an intrinsic need for relationships. Our relational orientation is a reflection of the image of God in us. God Himself is relational and exists in a community—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is love because God is relational. To the Christian, God is love because he has always existed in relationship. Is love possible without someone to love? This should be the defining characteristic of our faith. All men should know that we are Christ’s disciples by the love that we have for one another.
- Apostolic Mission. Apostolic means that someone is sent as a representative with a message. We are here for a purpose. We have been given a prime directive to fulfill—to make disciples of all the nations. This part of us also comes from the nature of God. Jesus is an Apostle. He is the Chief Cornerstone of the apostolic foundation. Before he left this planet, he sent his disciples into the world with a mission.
Utilizing the power of God’s Word (Bible), God’s Spirit, and God’s Family, a DNA Group emphasizes the three major practices of a disciple:
- Abiding relationally with Christ
- Hearing God’s Word and Spirit
- Obeying God’s Word and Spirit
Following Jesus Christ means that His very Personhood, His Presence, dwells inside us as our Saviour and King. It involves hearing and obeying His voice as a lifestyle 24/7/365. Being part of a DNA Group helps us to make sure we have the right “DNA” of Christ: Christ Himself, Christ’s Community – His Church, Christ’s Character, Christ’s Calling, Christ’s Competency. Lk.6:46-49; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Col. 1:28.
No one can become like Christ, apart from supportive, loving, and accountable relationships. When 2-3 men (or women) “fellowship in the light”, opening their hearts with safe and loving friends, they can help each other hear and obey Jesus.1 Jn. 1:3-10 Each person will help the others to abide with Christ, hear His voice, and obey God’s Word in the two main areas of the Kingdom of God:
- Covenant Relationships (“covenant” means high quality relational unity and oneness),
- Kingdom Responsibilities (fulfilling the original dominion mandate by doing God’s will, God’s way, by God’s Spirit, for God’s glory (Gen.1-3).
DNA Groups are not a religious program. They are a way of life. When two, three, or four sincere believers come together for the purpose of helping one another become like Christ and advance His kingdom, supernatural transformation will occur. Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:48-49; Luke 10:1-24; Matt. 6:33, 10:7-8. DNA Groups meet at least once a week to help each member become like Christ, love God, share the gospel, advance Christ’s kingdom, and make disciples that make disciples.
There are five purposes for a DNA Group:
- To help each other love, follow, and obey Jesus Christ,
- To read and apply the Word of God to our everyday lives,
- To pray for those who do not have Christ living in them as Lord and/or who are not in a biblical church, i.e. healthy spiritual family,
- To build loving relationships with those who are not in Christ for the purpose of sharing the good news of the kingdom of God in word and deed,
- To follow-up and disciple those who have just come to Christ.
A small committed group of two to three people has a much better chance of digging into the deep root issues that are blocking personal transformation. In the safety of unconditional love, trust, and confidentiality, people can truly open their hearts. They are more apt to let their “inner conversation” and personal issues come into the light. In the light and love of Father’s Spirit and Father’s family, we can fight for one another’s transformation into Christ’s likeness. 1 John 1:1-7