Guidelings for leading a Spiritual Conversation Group
For Group Members
- At the beginning of the first meeting take time to introduce yourselves to each other.
- Choose someone to be the timekeeper
- Everyone is co-responsible for the group.
- Listen attentively and respectfully to everyone.
- Talk from your own experience,; Make 'I' statements no 'we' or 'everybody thinks' statements.
- The person who is sharing holds the floor, don't interrupt or question, unless its to clarify what someone means.
- Share briefly and clearly what you can and what you want. (Don't feel you have to share in a similar way to other people.)
- The small group is not the place to resolve individual problems. So don't listen with the attitude of how to sort others out.
- Respect what is confidential. Don't talk about what has been shared by others outside the group.
- Times of silence are appropriate, be comfortable with silence.
Stages of Sharing
Round One One at a time each person takes the floor and shares the fruit of his or her prayer. The others listen attentively. During this first round there are no interactions between the participants except to ask an explanation about a word or what someone means.
There will probably be an advantage in trying to get your church or parish to take on the retreat as their
Lenten prayer. This
- Silent Reflection Take a couple of minutes of silent reflection after everyone who wishes has shared. (Ideally everyone should say something, even if it is 'I really don't want to share at the moment'. This stops the group for waiting ages for one or two people who have no intention of sharing.)
- Round Two It would be helpful if the leader has experience of prayer such as 'Lectio Divina', Imaginative Contemplation etc.
If you don't, then we will be providing crib sheets
and videos to help.
You are not setting yourself up as the local guru on prayer and you are not expected to be any more pious or holy than the other members of the group.