Making disciples who can make disciples
Disciplemaking Groups are small (4-6 people), same-gender groups that meet weekly for about nine months working through a curriculum designed by the Ridge around our beliefs of who a disciple is and what a disciple does.
D-Groups were created and designed specifically to make disciples who can make disciples. By learning to study the Bible for yourself, think theologically, develop spiritual disciplines, and articulate all of that in your own words, you will gain tools to not only lead and equip others, but to more faithfully move toward Jesus for the rest of your life!
Join or Lead a Group
We would love to help you determine if a D-Group is the next best step as you follow Jesus! To start the process, please fill out the form for your preferred campus. If you would like to lead a group, indicate your interest on the form and one of our pastors will set up a time to meet.
The D-Group book is built around our definition of a disciple: a lifelong learner and follower of Jesus who knows who God is, what Jesus has done for them, who they are in Jesus, and how to live for Jesus. It was written together by many pastors and leaders at the Ridge and is a turnkey tool for you to have as you grow and help others grow.
Register Your Group
Once you have connected with 4-6 people who are ready to join your D-Group, please complete the group registration form.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have many great environments for accountability, community, and Bible study, so we didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel. D-Groups were created and designed specifically to make disciples who will go and make disciples (2 Timothy 2:2).
Disciplemaking is about direction. It’s not a destination. By learning to study the Bible for yourself, think theologically, develop spiritual disciplines, and articulate all of that in your own words, you will gain tools to not only lead and equip others, but to more faithfully move toward Jesus for the rest of your life!
A disciple is a life-long learner and follower of Jesus who knows who God is, what Christ has done for them, who they are in Christ, and how to live for Him.
The purpose is for disciples to make disciples who will make disciples. This is ultimately a spiritual task that can only be accomplished by the Spirit, but this is something Jesus told us to do (Matt 28:18-20) and promised to be with us as we do it!
While in a D-Group, participants will learn how to study the Bible together, learn key theological and doctrinal truths, establish spiritual disciplines, and grow in their ability to share their faith with others.
Most groups meet weekly for about 9 months, typically for an hour each week. The curriculum contains 22 topics, some of which may take more than one week to complete, and your group may decide to add other books or experiences into your time together. If you power through, you could be done in 6-8 months, but once you factor in life (sickness, travel, holidays, etc.), it typically takes closer to 9 months.
The goal isn’t speed, the goal is effectiveness. Life change happens over time through relationships as we gather around God’s Word together. Don’t rush the process, but don’t get bogged down and lose focus. One of the leader’s most important jobs is to balance the pace of the study with the needs of the group. When in doubt, ask for help.
There are three key expectations for every leader:
- Your continued growth as a Christ-follower through daily time in the Word, prayer, Scripture memory, and sharing your faith, so that you can model with integrity the objectives of this process.
- Your commitment to your group members to help them fulfill their expectations (see the next question).
- Your willingness to ask for help when a question or situation arises that you don’t have an answer for.
No leader is perfect, so don’t put that pressure on yourself! It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to change hearts. Your biggest commitment is faithfulness and humility!
The group members are expected to:
- Do the work each week and engage in added activities as they are introduced.
- Come prepared for and engage in the weekly group discussion.
- Be open and accountable to the group.
- Be open to the challenge of starting their own group after this one finishes.
Remember, the goal is to make disciples who will make disciples!
Some weeks are geared toward systematic theology, some toward inductive Bible study, and some are a series of exercises. We attempted to provide variety but to take an approach that works best for the given topic, such as:
- Hands-on Bible study (some with helps, some on your own)
- Exercises to help you synthesize what you are learning
- Specific scripture memory exercises to help you remember certain topics
- Weeks that are heavy on daily lessons and weeks that are light on curriculum but heavy on personal time in God’s Word or activities for the group to do together
We’ve found the best size is 4-6 people (same gender), including the leader. Any more or less than that and it is harder to have a robust discussion, and it can make scheduling difficult.
When and where your group meets is completely up to you! We encourage you to meet weekly and in a consistent location. Some groups meet at coffee shops, restaurants, homes, or at our Bee Cave or Southwest campus. Pick a place and time when you and your group members can be open and vulnerable, and a time that allows for consistent attendance.
The best place to start is with existing relationships. Who do you want to meet with weekly for the next 9-12 months, talking through life-changing truth and having life-changing experiences? That’s who you approach first!
We also have an ever-growing list of people who want to be in a group, so please ask for help if you are coming up short. We would love to help match you up with folks who want to be discipled, so they can make disciples!
Groups Ministry Team
Showing 6 of 6
Becca was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She received her degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at St. Edward's University and her Master's degree at Texas A&M University in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. Becca has spent the last seven years working in the field as a special education teacher and registered behavior technician (RBT). In addition, she has a passion for serving others within the church and community. Becca is excited to use the various skills she has developed in her role as a Ministry Assistant.
Becky was raised in Carlsbad, California, so the beach is her favorite place. She and her amazing husband, Don, have awesome people - including four kids, a few kid-in-laws, and some beautiful grand babies. The Ellsworths moved to Austin in 2001 for Don to be one of the pastors at Austin Ridge. Becky loves spending time with her family, taking fun vacations (which almost always include a beach and sometimes Disney), reading, cooking/eating, exercising, and spending time with friends. She loves working at the Ridge, and being a part of what the Lord is doing in Dripping Springs and around the world.
Clay is from Nashville, TN, but Texas feels like home. He graduated undergrad from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and received his Master's of Arts in Religion from Redeemer Seminary in Dallas. He is married to Mandy, and they have three children: Seth, Asher, and Stella. Clay enjoys family time, college football – especially the Texas Longhorns – smoking meats, live music, comedy, the Texas Hill Country, and Mexican food. Clay has served in local church ministry for two decades in four different states. He is passionate about seeing people connect and grow in community around the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jeff is originally from Baytown, Texas, and has been in Austin since 2000. He has been married to Karol Ann since 1995, and they have two grown kids, one awesome grandson, and three French Bulldogs. He has a Master's of Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and has been in pastoral ministry for more than 20 years. Jeff has a passion for seeing people grow in their understanding of and obedience to Scripture and equipping them to equip others in the community, and has been doing that at the Ridge since 2013.
Jeff grew up in Orlando, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University in 2012. He has been in full-time ministry since then, where he has had the opportunity to lead families, children, students, and now Life Groups and D-Groups. Jeff is married to Cheyenne, and together they have two boys, Everett and Cannon. He enjoys family time in the backyard, playing all sports, going to concerts and watching his Florida State Seminoles. Jeff is passionate about discipleship and helping others Know, Grow, and Serve Jesus. Jeff and Cheyenne are thankful the Lord has called them to Austin to be a part of such an incredible church and community.
Jessica was raised in Bastrop, Texas, and began following Christ when she was 17. She immediately felt called to ministry and attended Dallas Christian College, where she received a B.S. in Intercultural Studies with a minor in Youth and Family Ministry. In her spare time, she loves exploring Austin, going country dancing or to concerts, and hiking on the Greenbelt.