In order to shape disciples of Jesus that journey each at their own pace, a new concept is emerging at the heart of VIANOVA Communities: the 3D. Is it some kind of new computer program that would transform the faithful into gamers? Or is it proposing training in architecture? Let’s lift the veil on these questions and ask for an explanation from Luc Salsac, a leader of one Community practicing the 3D.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” Colossians 3:16a
“As the name might suggest,” explains Luc, “the 3D groups refer to a third dimension, that of the life of a Community. In parallel to the public gatherings (the church services) and the GAps (groups that go deeper) which are smaller groups meeting in homes, the 3D groups are made up of 3 disciples (men or women) with a perspective of mutual encouragement. In concrete terms, each participant is invited to follow a common group reading plan. Every two weeks, the trio meets to share questions, personal study and impressions. It’s equally a time for praying together more intimately, and to ask God to help us live out what we learned from the Word. The 3D groups allow the believers to journey together as they listen to God.”
Have we piqued your curiosity? Continue reading. We have interviewed several 3D group participants, especially for you.
Christel, Germaine, Audrey, Marie-France
“In our 3D group of four participants, it is rare that we miss our daily Bible reading because we know that each one of us is giving ourselves equally to this discipline. Often a person may think he knows the passage that he has read and reread alone, sometimes since he was a young child, but we truly uncover even more treasures when we’re sharing it with others! When we share our point of view and our different understandings of the text, everything becomes clear. It brings us closer to God, inviting us to listen to Him and to understand things from His point of view. The 3D is an opportunity to discover things together as disciples who walk on the same journey and to share with one another what we have received from God. It’s a true source of joy and comfort! Praying regularly with the same people for personal subjects encourages us to persevere even if nothing seems to change. How marvelous it is to realise that God often gives us new ideas and guides us toward other open doors. For example, we have prayed for a long time that the daughter of one of our group members would find a job, that, of course, would not just fall out of the sky. What a surprise when one day, someone rang the doorbell at this young woman’s home to offer her a job for which she had not even applied!”
“The 3D time (even with 2 people) motivates us to read the Word and to keep a good rhythm. Sometimes you think that you know the Bible, and then you realise that you only know certain parts. You can have several pieces of the puzzle, but you have not had the opportunity to admire the whole picture. The connections begin appearing as you follow the reading plan, and during the discussion time. It’s satisfying to relearn what we thought we knew. Freeing up time for reading a few chapters when you have little spare time is certainly a challenge, but the deeper the knowledge you have, the better you can respond to the other’s questions. This new habit draws us closer and enriches us.”
Axelle, Muriel, Adeline
“The 3D is more than a reading club or a group of friends. We realise more fully that we are sisters in Christ. Together we learn to discern God’s impact in our lives, to get back on the right path, to realise we are not alone, and to see the power of prayer in our daily life. It’s also a place where we can share our intimate subjects. From the time that one of us entered into a romantic relationship with the man who eventually became her husband, the two others were the first to know and to commit this relationship to prayer.”
“I’m starting a 3D this year and I’m already rejoicing to see how this tool is going to help us grow in our relationship with God. I already see how it helps in the shaping of disciples by regularly reading the Bible, exchanging nuggets we each discover during our daily reading, and praying for each other. I look forward to seeing us walk with Jesus together.”
Would you like to start one or more 3D groups in your church, but you don’t know where to start? Start by suggesting the idea to your church’s board or pastor; no doubt it will be well accepted.
Make a list of those interested and help them form groups. The 3D group is not mixed. Organise people in groups of three, ideally. If this isn’t possible, encourage groups made up of two or four participants.
The logistics of meeting together can be made by each group. For the first time, identify those who can take on the role of group leader and place one in each group. After one or two cycles of the 3D, you will see new leaders emerge.
Establish a common reading plan for each group. For example, propose a reading plan in either the Old Testament or the New Testament.
Let things meld together; each group will find its own identity. Relationships are going to develop, and the contact with each other will give way to new gifts being discovered. At the end of one or two cycles, evaluate. Have you received requests for new 3D groups? For those flourishing in the existing groups, have you found new leaders?
Don’t forget to join a 3D yourself!