The heart of The Restoration Project is Discipleship Groups. These Groups are the heart because they are the structure that, over time, holds us accountable to our deepest intentions and hopes.
Discipleship Groups meet regularly to encourage participants to practice the disciplines Jesus taught. These disciplines include prayer, worship, service, generosity and discernment of call. The meetings begin with a short, simple liturgy where the gathered people express their common desire to draw closer to Jesus.
The structure of Discipleship Groups builds on the work of Gordon Cosby and Parker Palmer. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Cosby discovered that small groups never resulted in mission and real spiritual growth, but rather became self-support groups unless they were structured from the beginning to encourage an outward focus. Parker Palmer has been working with small groups for decades and has developed meaningful and powerful ways to gather people in prayer-centered groups.
2012 is the year of ‘beta testing’ for Discipleship Groups. In October of 2011, the leadership team of The Restoration Project created a standard liturgy for Discipleship Group meetings. This liturgy includes a time of silence, a statement of general intention read by the leader followed by seven scripture-based sentences read by participants. Although our churches can have a variety of small groups, Discipleship Groups are only those groups that use this liturgy.We welcome others to join us in this year of testing and development. If you would like to try starting a Discipleship Group, contact Christopher Martin at Christopher@TheRestorationProject.net. If there is more than one Discipleship Group in your community, we ask that at least one leader join other leaders on October 4th-6th in Washington DC. God willing, we intend to meet with Gordon Cosby and then share stories and ideas for how, together, we can strengthen and deepen the work of The Restoration Project.