Is your small group experience, “real and raw”?

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Picture yourself sitting among two groups of people at two different times:

* one group you attend is with a group of actors, in character, sitting around talking.  Its hard to discern what each actor really thinks because they present themselves as some certain character.  The result is that because you doubt their sincerity, its hard to open up and be authentic.   You don’t see the benefits of taking the risk to be yourself when you have little encouragement to think that anyone else will stop pretending to be someone they are not and open up to who they really are

* the other group you attend is with a small group of people who share in your struggle with alcohol.  The people are quite transparent with their experiences and the conversation tends to be very real and raw.  The mood is that of humility in facing their problems, but dominated by hope.  The group could be described as hurting people helping hurting people.

Many people I know belong to some kind of small group–maybe you do also.  Maybe you are involved in a small group.

In light of the two totally different kinds of small group experiences mentioned above, I would like to encourage you to evaluate your group and ask yourself (and your group) a few questions:

*what is the purpose of our group?

* how are we doing at focusing on staying on point to our purpose?

* how transparent is everyone at our group?

* does everyone come to the group with some kind of need or are there those that seem to have all the answers and never admit any struggles?

* do you leave your small group meeting encouraged and hopeful?

* do you feel encouraged that you have opened yourself up to others and have been accepted ?

My guess is that if you (and others in your group) take the time to evaluate your group, you will come upon even more helpful questions you can ask that will spur you on to making adjustments and focusing on making your group’s experience the most meaningful it can be.

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