DNA Groups

A Culture of Discipleship 

According to Scripture, every Christian is called to be both a disciple and a disciple-maker (Matt 28:18-20).  Disciples of Jesus are to be busy making disciples of Jesus.  We are to be both following Christ and helping others follow Him as well. 

At Mercy Hill, our aim is to develop and support what you might call a “culture of discipleship.” What we mean by this is that we want it to be a normal thing here for people to be engaged meaningfully in each other’s lives, pursuing Christ together, and inviting unbelievers to join in on the journey.  One of the ways we are attempting to promote this culture of discipleship is through what we call DNA Groups. We define these groups as follows . . .

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A DNA Group is a smaller group of committed people who meet on a consistent basis to Discover, Nurture, and Apply Christ together until He is all in all. 

 

Growing Up into the Image of Jesus

Discipleship to Jesus, we learn from the Scriptures, is really the process whereby we are saved by Him and slowly, progressively renewed in His image (cf. Luke 6:40; John 20:21; Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:17-24; Col 3:5-10).   When you think about it, as Jesus set out to make disciples, what was He doing? He was calling people out of darkness—away from their broken way of life and the realm death—and He was inviting them to follow Him, learn from Him, and begin to live and look more and more like Him.  In other words, discipleship to Jesus, we could say, is His way of rewiring our DNA.  His grace touches the deepest places of our being and transforms every aspect of our lives. 

DNA Groups at Mercy Hill exist to foster and facilitate in our church this ongoing process of growing up more and more into the image Jesus.  That's the sort of church culture we're going for—one where we're all running hard after Christ and finding renewal in Him together!

Note: DNA Groups are usually kept much smaller than Home Groups (and can even be composed of just two people meeting one-on-one). They are, therefore, more versatile and intimate.

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The Three Frameworks

While each DNA Group will certainly have its own flavor, you can get a sense of what they might look like by checking out what we call the three DNA Group “Frameworks.”  We’ve developed these frameworks as a way of providing structure and direction for DNA Groups to make use of if they so desire. Each one utilizes carefully crafted questions as a way of guiding the process of discipleship to Jesus and renewal in His image. They all have the same end goal but they come at it from three different angles or starting points.

Imagine the Possibilities . . .

Maybe you and your wife want to read a Christian book on marriage.  Instead of just reading it alone, you decide to begin a DNA Group and invite others to read it along with you.  Three other couples join in and now, not only are you and your wife growing together towards Jesus in marriage, but you’re growing in friendship with others as well!

Maybe you’ve been really wanting to go deeper in Bible study.  You want to learn but you don’t know who to ask.  On a Sunday after the service, you approach a few of Mercy Hill’s leaders and ask if they have any suggestions.  They do!  In a couple of weeks you are paired up with a more mature believer and she begins facilitating a DNA Group with you using the Scripture Framework.  You are learning how to read the Bible and meet with God in His Word!

Maybe you have a coworker who doesn’t know Jesus but seems open to meaningful dialogue.  You scan Mercy Hill’s Recommended Resources for something that may prove relevant to skeptics and seekers.  You decide on C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and ask if he’d be interested in reading it with you.  To your delight, he is!  You plan to meet for discussion during lunch every other week.

Maybe you're a new mother with limited time, energy, and availability.  During this stage of life you're unable to make it consistently to a Home Group or many of the other scheduled church events.  But you can go for afternoon walks in the park while pushing a stroller!  So you gather a few other moms and decide to do just that together.  You make use of the Life Framework as a starting point for meaningful, gospel-centered discussions and prayer. 

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