Just by getting together as a group, we provide an opportunity for people to cope actively with life instead of withdrawing into an isolating avoidant coping style. Most mental health problems intensify in the face of social isolation, so the social nature of the small-group experience can be both spiritually and emotionally transformative. When we avoid relationships, we can only imagine and guess at what people in our lives think and feel. To know relational truths, we have to go beyond imagining and guessing. We need to interact with people. Groups give us the opportunity to check out our assumptions and to hear that we are not perceived as negatively as we sometimes feel.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
What has been your most supportive group experience?
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Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
—Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)
Prayer for the Week
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to grow closer to you and to one another. We ask you to be present in our small-group meetings and to help us become more Christlike. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Our basic need for belonging and connection to other people is magnified during times we have to be apart from others. Licensed psychologist and author of Gather Us In Dr. Angela D. Schaffner offers 10 helpful tips for running a quality Zoom group. Read more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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