Chapter 24 (complete chapter)
THE SUPPORT GROUP
198 -- YOUR ALLIES
make a commitment to the most appropriate suggestion.
receive a promise of companionship from those who want to stay in contact with them throughout the week as they follow through on their commitments.
Note: Small group coordinators must require strict adherence to time limits so that each parent or set of parents has time to participate.
10. The large group reconvenes, and each parent or set of parents announces a commitment and who the companions are going to be.
11. The group unites in reading the Seven Commandments for developing the proper posture as parents.
12. The meeting is closed with prayer.
Here is the agenda for the meetings:
Coffee and fellowship before the meeting
The reading of the Fifteen Towers of Conviction (5 minutes)
A teaching from Relief for Hurting Parents with discussion (30 minutes)
Each participant reports on why he or she is in attendance (20 minutes)
Break (5 minutes)
Small-group meetings (45 minutes)
Announcements of commitments and companionship (15 minutes)
Reading of the Seven Commandments for parental posturing
Dismissal in prayer
Guest speakers are to give and receive.
A guest speaker can be used during the first hour. Having a guest speaker will help the group in at least two ways.
First, the speaker can introduce the group to the thinking, procedures, and help of various allies.
Second, the group becomes visible to representatives of the agencies who visit you, and they will learn to respect the group more. And it is hoped that they will talk up the group to their associates in other agencies. They will likely be more helpful to your members when called for help. That is why they should be encouraged to stay for the whole meeting. Otherwise, they may leave during the break after they speak, causing the group to lose half the purpose for having them in.
When guest speakers are present, the teaching time for the book is reduced to fifteen minutes, and other agenda items are compressed as well. Nothing is eliminated because the guest speaker needs to see what happens in the meetings: He or she must see the dynamics of the group!
We have found it unwise to have more than one guest per month. The participants need all the time they can conserve for doing their work together. They have important concerns to deal with, and they should not be slighted. Their crisis may not be able to wait another week to be considered.
What's involved in starting a new group?
Do not put an announcement in the local newspaper inviting people to help you start a new parent support group. The only way to have a good group is to start with a