GOING DEEPER THROUGH ‘GO DIG’
‘Go DIG’ stands for ‘Go Deeper Into God.’ The simple aim of the ‘Go DIG’ group is to help Christians to experience an ever-deepening relationship with God in Christ, and to help them to discover, develop and mature in who they are in Christ. Such a continual deepening leads to the group members growing closer together and also growing in their knowing of themselves.
The life span of the ‘Go DIG’ group is determined by how quickly the course material is progressed through by those who are in the group, but it typically runs for between three and six months when it is meeting on a (more or less) weekly basis.
The starting point of each ‘Go DIG’ group is always the same question: In the physical world in which we live, when children stop growing or healing, all the alarm bells start ringing – why, then, do we accept a church culture in which it is normal for Christians to stay stagnant, neither growing nor healing, and yet there are no alarm bells ringing?
AIMS OF THE GROUP:
- To facilitate individual growth and healing through the exploration of our growing relationships with God and with each other.
- To provide a safe and confidential environment in which growth and healing can take place in the power of the Holy Spirit through the exploration and deepening of human and divine relationships.
- To build interpersonal relationships within the group for mutual support, encouragement and upbuilding.
- The group has a discipline of confidentiality – that means that what is said in the group (or sub-group) by anyone remains confidential to the members of that group (or sub-group); though everyone is, of course, always at complete liberty to share their own story as they wish.
- Listen carefully to other people and to what they are saying (or not saying) and be sensitive to their intonation, to their mood, and to their body language.
- Respect other people.
- Use humour when and where it is appropriate, but never use humour to embarrass or to humiliate another person.
- You are always free to disagree, and you are always free to say so in an appropriate way!
CONTENT AND PRACTICE
Each ‘Go DIG’ group is flexible in its progression and is ready to move on through the course material as quickly or slowly as is appropriate for each person within the group and for the group as a whole through:
- Teaching that is interactive, interruptible, and that always encourages the response of thoughts, comments, and questions.
- Prayer with and for the individuals within the safe environment of the group.
- Discovery and development of spiritual gifts and spiritual callings for each member of the group within the safe environment of the group.
- Openness and honesty with one another as we share and journey together in our own experiences of a growing and a healing faith.
The teaching notes are progressively provided to each person as each section of the discipleship course is completed so that, at the end of the course, all persons taking part have collected a complete set of notes. Also, at the end of the course, each person is given an electronic pdf copy of the whole course notes. Subjects explored in ‘Go DIG’ include:
- HEART-DRIVEN LIFE
We look at the pre-eminence of the heart in Scripture and especially in Hebrew thought and culture, and have a re-thinking of Jesus’ teaching in the light of the pre-eminence of the heart. It is the realization that we are to be heart-driven people first and foremost, and that the mind is to be the servant of the heart, and not the other way around as it is in any Greek-based culture.
- HEALING HEART
Many people have wounded or damaged hearts, and such people need continual healing in their hearts in order to grow in their love relationship with Christ. Understanding that is important, but actually experiencing the journey of healing is of greatest importance. The tree of life and the tree of death set the foundation of the understanding how life has damaged us, and how God brings healing to us.
- DAMAGED HEART
A deeper understanding of how our hearts have been damaged helps us on the journey of healing and growing together. We explore the purpose of healing and look back to that first garden, and to the way that things were back then. We explore the strange fact that it was relationships that damaged us in the past, and it is relationships that will heal us in the future.
- HEART OF FRIENDSHIP
We examine what friendship is, and what it is not. We consider what a friend is, and how that can help us to accept people, to love people, and to welcome people. We look at the importance of simply being there for people, and how Christ-centered relationships can help us to go deeper with God and with one another.
- HEART LANGUAGES
We look at human and divine relationships and consider the use of words, gifts, touch, time, and deeds. We look at the spiritual journey of communication to communion to union, and see that it is the opposite of the biological journey.
- HEART BLOCKAGES
We examine the spiritual paralysis that can be caused by fear and unforgiveness. We explore the importance of forgiving our own selves as well as forgiving others. We examine how God has forgiven us, and how our journey of turning towards God – repentance – can free us from that which has long held us back.
- WHO I AM
We look at the crucially important question of identity – who we really are in Christ – and what it means to be God’s adopted children. We examine Jesus’ relationship with Peter and how Jesus’ true commissioning of Peter became the template for every other Christian throughout time and space.
- HOW I LIVE
This section looks at how we can truly realise Jesus as supreme above all in the whole of our lives. We examine how Jesus was tested and tried, and what that means for us in the trials of life. The love of Jesus was and is counter-cultural – so how do we manifest that love in our everyday relationships?
- PROPHETIC PEOPLE
We explore prophecy as being the vital expression of God’s heart, of God’s mind, and of God’s will. We look at the critical relevance of prophecy as it builds people up in their faith and strengthens their lives in Christ. We see that prophecy is never to be used as a weapon against people, and that prophecy should always be tested and proved. We examine the source of prophecy and its use in service and servanthood. A prophetic lifestyle learns to use spiritual gifts wisely and we look at the consequences of misuse and disuse.
- LAW OF GOD
We look at the law of God – what it is and what it is not, and why the law failed. We examine the true nature of sin, and what God has done in relation to the law. We explore intimacy, God’s design for family, idolatry, consequences of choices, personal responsibility, the sabbath, adultery and divorce.
- HARVEST TIME
We look at sowing and reaping and explore compassion. We examine “The Lord’s Prayer” and realise that it is actually not a prayer at all. We examine in depth the new covenant in Christ. We explore what you do and what you do not do in a harvest, and what that means for evangelism.
We examine God’s love-centered commitment to us and the part played by discipline. We examine healing and renewal. We look at Jesus, our role model. We explore the difference between becoming a father, and fatherhood itself.
YHWH has no name, but yet he has a name. We look at dominion and how the created order of things was reversed at the fall. We see how human beings became homeless and we look at the hallmark of history. We look again at identity and consider the hardened heart. We see Jesus as supreme, and explore how we are being changed by Christ’s DNA at work in us.
We examine the elements of the new covenant in Christ and see that king Jesus is supreme. We look at the strategy that Jesus employed when he walked on earth and explore again communication, communion, and union. We see Paul’s strategy, YHWH’s strategy, and we see the personal nature of freedom.
What does “daily bread” mean? We examine the source of life, the proving ground of life, and we look at Noah. We explore ‘human rights’ and what it means to die in Christ and to live in Christ.
We consider when it is that God forgives, and we look at the complete work of Christ and what that means for Gentiles. We see the reality of complete forgiveness, and understand that sin is never forgotten, but rather that it is remembered no more. We look at two sons, and the use of weapons like the tongue.
- TRIALS AND THE EVIL ONE
We look at temptation through Job, Elijah, Jesus, and Peter. We examine the power of claims and contrast that with what God says. We see that Jesus is greater than our claims and look at the ways of God and the wiles of the evil one. We close with a look at trust and intimacy, hope and faith.
All of the above describes a practical course in which we journey together as we grow in our ever-deepening relationship with Christ while journeying together with one another. ‘Go DIG’ is challenging because:
- It frequently questions (and sometimes demolishes) many of the foundations that evangelical Christianity has built by assumption over the last sixty or so years.
- It places relationship above doctrine, it places relationship above theology, and it places relationship above practice.
- It is never about mere rules and regulations.
- It is never about the ‘right’ way and the ‘wrong’ way to believe, and nor is it about the ‘right’ way and the ‘wrong’ way to behave.
- It is relationship focused; it is not behaviour focused.
- It is love focused; it is not sin focused.
- It is about knowing God ever deeper day by day and, in doing so, knowing our own selves ever deeper day by day.
- Deep calls to deep.
If you would like to be part of the group that begins in January 2019, please let me know which best three times and days in the week that would generally work best for you. They could be mornings, afternoons, or evenings – whatever the best times and days are for you to be a part of the group. You can get that information to me by email or you can contact me at City Gates services and meetings. Once I have a list of interested parties and see which day and time suits the most people, I will let you all know when and where the course will begin. Please note that personal information such as names, addresses and contact details will never be displayed on my website.