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Faith and Calling

Women Gathering: 7 Tips for Starting a Small Group

Posted on: May 23rd, 2012 by Dr. Angela Bisignano

Small groups serve as wonderful opportunities for connection, conversation, and community. Summer is a great time to start a small group as schedules are often more relaxed.

I have been getting together in small groups with women for years for all kinds of reasons: book groups, workshops, retreats, and Bible studies just to name a few. Over the last several years, my focus has been on gathering women to help them identify and deepen their understanding of their unique giftedness and calling. I am passionate about this topic.

Although I am really excited about this topic, I love getting together with women. When women gather regularly wonderful relationships can form. The dynamics and depth of intimacy that can be gained when women connect can be so life giving and refreshing for the soul. I actually believe women need to get together. When we are isolated and not connecting we can become lonely, disengaged, and discouraged.

Although the idea of meeting in small groups may seem a little intimidating for some at first, most women once they get started really enjoy the experience. Many desire to share with others and to go deeper in their faith journeys. If you have an inkling that you would like to start a small group I would highly encourage you to do so.

Begin by thinking of some women that you would like to join you. It can be as little as a few women up to ten or twelve. I think the ideal small group size is about 6 to 8 women. This allows for optimal sharing to take place.

7 Tips to get your started with your small group:

1. Decide on the purpose for gathering. Will this be a book group, a Bible study, a prayer group or something else? Determine the time and place; consistency is important.

2. Choose a leader or facilitator. Decide on the person(s) who will be in charge of making sure the group runs well. The type of group established will determine the facilitator/leader’s role or function.

3. Create an inviting atmosphere. Creating a warm, accepting, and nurturing environment is really important. This type of atmosphere fosters trust; whereby engaging and intimate conversations are more likely to take place. When women feel safe and comfortable they will share what is really on their hearts.

4. Ensure confidentiality. Encourage complete confidentiality. When women feel what they are saying won’t go beyond the walls of the meeting room, they are more inclined to engage in open and honest dialogue.

5. Be authentic. As much as it is possible encourage the women to be real and open. Encouraging a non-judgmental environment is key. Acknowledge that we are all on different journeys.

6. Commit to pray. Commit to praying regularly for the women in the group. Remember powerful things happen when women get together and pray.

7. Have fun. Enjoy your time with one another.

Are you in a small group? Or have you ever been in one? What positive benefits have you found from gathering with other women?

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