What is Grow?
Grow is a discipleship initiative here at DHBC. We purposely try and avoid calling it a program (though we do by accident sometimes) because it goes much deeper than a program. What we are really trying to do is help push people into the lifestyle of meeting together with 3-4 people, learning together and applying the gospel to each other. We want people to grow in fighting sin, loving God, living in community and serving the city and we believe that Grow pods are a great context to challenge us to do that.
What is a pod?
Grow Pods are made up of 3-4 people of the same gender. The members of a pod may differ quite a bit from each other in terms of age, occupation, social class, race and upbringing but they have committed to meeting twice a month to gather together and challenge each other. Our desire is that pods grow in love for each other live out the “one another” commands of the New Testament (like pray for one another, rejoice with one another, carry one another’s burdens).
What do Pods do when they meet?
As we said, Grow is more than a program so we don’t ask Pods to do a course together. But we do desire that Pods learn and apply truth to one another. To help with that, we have provided content for Pods to go through together. This content is provided through Grow Guides.
How do Grow Guides work?
Grow Guides are designed to be tools to help Pods engage in certain topics. Each Guide is comprised of 5 parts.
First you have a seed. The seed is a short introduction to the topic and most will be available in both text and video form. Seeds are an excellent way to check out whether your Pod wants to engage in the guide or choose another one.
Next, guides help root you in the Scriptures. 2-3 texts of Scripture are provided along with some questions and Bible study tips to help you engage the text before gathering together as a Pod.
Third, guides include water from the visionaries. These are articles, blog posts or short chapters from books (and, occasionally, short videos) written by experienced pastors, leaders and visionaries who will challenge you on how the topic of the Guide applies to your growth as a disciple of Christ.
Fourthly, the Guide encourages you to grow through the warmth of community. Whereas the previous elements of the guide are engaged prior to meeting together, the fourth section contains questions centered around creating discussion in your Pod.
Finally Guides end with a push to produce the fruit of application. Here, questions and discussion push you to take concrete steps to apply what you learned in your Guide in everyday life.
What topics do Guides go through?
We believe a disciple of Jesus is one who is transformed by God, loves and is loved by Him, is a committed member of His body, and is engaged on His mission.
Flowing from that, the Grow Guides are structured around the four primary relationships of a disciple: our inner life (sanctification), our relationship with God, our relationship with others (covenant community) and our relationship with the world.
The 'Inner Life' section is centered around the main branch of the Gospel which roots our inner life in the work of Christ. Flowing from that are fruits of the Spirit – holiness (including fighting sin), joy, love and humility.
The 'Relationship with God' section of the tree is centered around Who is God. Flowing out of that are ways we interact with God – faith, listening to God (including studying His word), worship and speaking to God (through prayer).
The 'Relationship with Others' section is centered around what is community. Flowing from that are two types of covenant community (family and church) and two fruits of covenant community (reconciliation and hospitality).
The Rrelationship with the World' section of the tree is centered around what mission is, and flowing from that are issues such as calling (how the give glory to God with our lives), culture (the relationship of Christianity and culture), generosity (what it means to give generously), and incarnation (how to live as the presence of Christ in the world).
Click on the Discipleship Tree below to see the different topics that will be discussed in GROW.
Do Pods have to follow guides?
As we said before, Grow isn’t a course, it is a intiative to help you engage in the lifestyle of a disciple. A key part of that lifestyle is to gather with other disciples and grow together. It is our hope that Guides help train you to take content and discuss it together Biblically, theologically and applicationally. As your Pod learns to do this with Guides, we hope you feel free to engage other content that will help you grow in the image of Christ – whether this be lectures, sermons, books, videos or articles. Of course, you are also free to continue to study the Guides provided and we may add more in the future.
DHBC also has Home Groups, how do Pods differ from Home Groups?
We encourage those who attend DHBC to be part of both a Home Group and a Grow pod. If you recall our Life-cycle of a Fully-Devoted Disciple (connect, belong, grow, scatter) you will remember that Home Groups are an expression of the “belong” section and Pods help you fulfill the “grow” mandate. We believe that these two sizes of groups are structured differently and help you grow in discipleship in different and complementary ways.
Home Groups are the first step of getting into community at DHBC. They are structured in a way that makes them an ideal place to send newcomers to DHBC – including new and not-yet Christians. The slightly bigger size allows newcomers to integrate at a more comfortable pace and the intimacy level is appropriate to welcome in newcomers.
Grow Pods, on the other hand, are designed to be more static in their membership. Whereas home groups are large enough that a new person does not change the dynamic too much, a new person in a Pod changes the dynamic significantly. The positive side of this for the pod is that the same people can develop a greater degree of intimacy during the year and go deeper in their interaction.
Pods are also more intentional on the topics that they study. Whereas Home Groups provide “daily bread” (by working the previous week’s sermon together), Pods are designed to focus on key areas and grow together in those. This is particularly noticeable as they are challenged to actively apply what they learn in those certain areas.
Finally, Home Groups are (and will continue to be) the primary loci of community and care at DHBC. Particularly when it comes to practical care (such as the providing of meals or babysitting when needed) the larger size of the Home Group can provide care that a smaller Pod cannot. Sociologically speaking, the care we receive from a group of 10-12 is much different than the care provided by a group of 3-4. Additionally, for married couples and families, Home Groups provide an opportunity to join in that community together as opposed to Pods in which individual members of a family would engage in different communities.
Of course, it is our desire to see those who attend DHBC experiencing both sizes of community. It is also our recommendation (although not a requirement) that you form your Pod from within your Home Group so that you are engaging deeper with the same group.
Who leads Pods?
Pods do not have leaders, rather they have facilitators. Facilitators help Pods stay on track and continue meeting together. Facilitators will also help to spur the discussion if it winds down. Additionally, do to the copyright nature of some of the guide material, facilitators will inform the Grow Coordinator (Pastor Kajle) of what guide their Pod is going through.