For about a year, Ellen and I led a young adult group at the Mercy Vineyard in Bangalore. Every week we watched a video on some aspect of Kingdom ministry like praying for the sick or power evangelism, and then we had ministry time. At least once a month we went out to minister in the community.
At the end of this class, we began praying about what to do next. Since I had been learning about Discovery Bible Study, we decided to challenge the group to learn how to lead a DBS.
The first night, rather than talk about how to lead a Discovery group, I just went ahead and modeled what I wanted them to do. For this first night I picked the story of Jesus calling his disciples in Mark 1. It was fun to see how readily everyone participated and shared significant things that Jesus was speaking to them through the passage. At the end of the Bible study, I asked if any of them would volunteer to lead if I promised to meet them during the week to help them prepare.
For the next two weeks we did DBS lead by a first time leader.
On the night of the fourth week we discussed what we had experienced. Everyone was surprised how well the groups had gone, how much they had gotten out of the study. But perhaps most exciting was their observation that this was something that each of them was capable of doing.
After our discussion I surprised everyone by telling them that we were going to divide up into four groups of three people each and I wanted each group to start a Discovery Bible Study. I challenged them to try to find at least two or three people who were not attending church who would be open to meeting with them at least once for a simple DBS. Our goal was for them to enjoy it enough that they would be open to meeting at least a couple more times.
Two out of three of the groups were able to get something started over the next few weeks. One of the groups even ended up meeting for several of months and grew significantly.
Over the years I have tried a lot of different approaches to small groups. Many have had life in them. However, I have found it hard to start new groups that are effective in reaching outside the church. I have also found it difficult to develop new leaders and to multiply new groups. If you are wanting to expand your small groups out into the unsaved community, and to multiply groups and groups leaders, you might want to experiment with a Discover Bible Study approach.