Story and Photos by Effie Gurmeza
Peter and Stephanie host and lead a Discipleship Group in North Tacoma. Discipleship Groups are communities of God's people that gather throughout the week to share life and grow together as disciples of Jesus.
What do you enjoy most about leading a discipleship group?
We enjoy having a consistent group of people that meet to intentionally discuss God's truth and challenge each other. Even in our first 7 months as a group we have had so many personal changes and events: a wedding, family difficulties, surgeries, and more. The two constants we have is God's truth and group accountability.
can you share an example of how someone has discipled another person in the group through one of these challenges?
One example would actually be me and my anxiety I had from a recent surgery. I was really struggling mentally and physically with anxiety and it was affecting my relationship with Stephanie and others around me. The group was awesome at communicating they were praying for me before, during, and after the surgery, and Heather from our group gave me some awesome practical advice concerning how I felt and how to calm down as she has had a major surgery and health problems before. Having the constant community and someone who experienced what I was going through in our group, helped me realize that Christ was present with me in his church (my DG group) through my struggle. And, that’s, overall, what helped me overcome my anxiety!
What was one reservation you had before leading?
Leading was intimidating because of how new we were to the church. We had just moved across the country and had just become members. It was easy to use that as an excuse to stay comfortable.
How has God helped you through that?
God pushed us to realize that Church is about giving and not taking. The Church had a need for discipleship group leaders and hosts, and the simple response was to fill that need and lead.
What encouragement do you have for new leaders?
Leading can be hard, and you are going to have weeks that make you question your ability to lead. And, that's ok. Having a Gospel community is about facilitating a place for Christ to lead you and the group together. So, leading isn't about you and your ability, it's about Christ and his will. So, when you feel inadequate, focus on Christ and his work of grace in the sermon, in the songs of praise, in communion, in your Scripture reading, and pray for his Spirit to lead.