How to Launch a DBS: Multiply

This is the fifth post in a series on starting Discovery Bible Studies to share Jesus.
Start at the beginning.


Step 5: Multiply

A Discovery Bible Study is the cornerstone of a strategy to bring entire networks, cities, and nations to Jesus. This strategy is gaining incredible momentum in many parts of the world, with thousands of new disciples now beginning to follow Jesus. The strategy is called Disciple Making Movements (DMM).

If this sounds a little big in scope for you, consider the plan of God for the world laid out in the Bible. 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Not some, but all! As a follower of Jesus and a member of his Body, you are part of this plan. And once you’ve started a Discovery Bible Study, you have opened a door to be a part of that big movement of the gospel, where the good news of Jesus can multiply far beyond your own power to share it.

How can you equip your group to multiply? First, you ask questions that challenge them to be others-focused and self-giving.

The multiply questions:

  • How can we help one another in our group?

  • Who else (outside of our group) can we show kindness to?

  • Who can we tell and how can we tell what we are learning?

These questions weave the DNA of love (for each other and for all people) into the group, and incorporate Jesus’ command to his disciples to tell others the good news. We call them multiplication questions because showing the love of Jesus and sharing the truth God reveals to us are two of the most compelling actions we can take to draw people closer to God.

There’s one extra tip for helping your group to multiply which is important on many levels. It’s simple, but a little counterintuitive. We recommend that you don’t keep an open door policy in discovery groups. Don’t add new members after the first few weeks, once the group has started to gain momentum. As the group starts having a transformational impact on its members, it’s natural for other people to hear about what’s going on and “want in.” Instead of adding new members, start new groups.

This is where the magic of multiplication (and movement) really starts to kick in. Do you remember the difference between addition and multiplication from your school days? If you only add people to an existing group, you are living in the realm of addition—3+1=4. But if you ask the new seeker to pull together a new group, you begin to multiply—3x2=6. And over time that makes a huge difference in the amount of people given an opportunity to discover Jesus.

When someone asks to join the group, you can say something like this: “Our group has already started and we aren’t adding people. Sorry. But if you want to do something like this, we/I (person of peace) will help you lead a group for yourself and the people you know. Let’s start a new one.”

We’ve reached the end of the discovery group process. But before we can send you off, we need to rewind and add one more question into the mix. This question lands in the connect time, but doesn’t make sense until you’ve witnessed the whole process from beginning to end. We’ll add this final element in the next post. Go to step six.


Explore what the Bible says about multiplication and expansion.

Dig In and Do It

Download the entire guide, "How to Launch a Discovery Bible Study," along with a DBS workbook and scripture list, in our free DBS Toolbox.