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House Meeting Facilitator Training February 17, 2011 Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.

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Presentation on theme: "House Meeting Facilitator Training February 17, 2011 Olivet Institutional Baptist Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 House Meeting Facilitator Training February 17, 2011 Olivet Institutional Baptist Church

2 Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) is a non- partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice. GCC unites people across lines of race, class, religion, and geography to promote public, private and civic sector actions that strengthen our neighborhoods and improve the quality of life of each resident.

3 Context for Community Organizing Public Sector Elected officials (national, state, local) Government Agencies Civic Sector Families Religious Congs. Labor Unions Civic associations Advocacy Groups Private Sector Financial Services Energy companies Real Estate/Constr. Health Care/Insurance Manufacturing Contracts/grants/ regulations Campaign Donations Workers/Consumers Voters/Taxpayers Values: administration/control Power: Position Values: Profit Power: Organized $ Values: All other motives Power: Organized People and organized $

4 How will we build power in the Civic Sector? Identifying common self interests we can only realize together Identifying common self interests we can only realize together Intentionally building relationships necessary to motivate and sustain action Intentionally building relationships necessary to motivate and sustain action

5 Two Organizing Tools to Identify Interests and Build Relationships 1. Individual meetings 2. House meetings

6 Where Are We Going? January-March: House meeting campaign January-March: House meeting campaign 300 meetings involving people 300 meetings involving people Inside and across congregations Inside and across congregations April 7: Issue Convention April 7: Issue Convention June 6, 2011: Founding Assembly of new organization people people 50+ congregations 50+ congregations 4-5 point issue agenda 4-5 point issue agenda

7 House Meetings: What? An intentional, focused small group conversation (usually 8-12 people) for the purpose of: Identifying ISSUES of common concern that are widely and deeply felt. Identifying ISSUES of common concern that are widely and deeply felt. Identifying LEADERS who are willing and able to take action on the issues. Identifying LEADERS who are willing and able to take action on the issues. Motivating participants to take more leadership in improving their community than they would had they not heard the concerns of their neighbors. Motivating participants to take more leadership in improving their community than they would had they not heard the concerns of their neighbors.

8 House Meetings: Where? In your home, with people you invite from your network (invite 20 to get 10). At an existing group or ministry meeting, with time set aside for this special conversation. At an existing group or ministry meeting, with time set aside for this special conversation. Cell groups Cell groups Men s/women s groups, choir, usher board, etc. Men s/women s groups, choir, usher board, etc. Block club, book club, poker club, etc. Block club, book club, poker club, etc. At a large group event at your congregation organized for this purpose, at which people break up into tables of ten At a large group event at your congregation organized for this purpose, at which people break up into tables of ten During a bible study During a bible study At lunch/coffee hour after services At lunch/coffee hour after services

9 House Meetings: Why? Alternatives don t built power of organized people: Alternatives don t built power of organized people: Surveys don t lead to people. Surveys don t lead to people. Focus groups don t lead people into action Focus groups don t lead people into action House meetings build relational glue between people who hear each others stories, struggles, and circumstances, which is a prerequisite for collective action. House meetings build relational glue between people who hear each others stories, struggles, and circumstances, which is a prerequisite for collective action.

10 Responsibilities of a House Meeting Facilitator Inviting people to participate in the house meeting (sometimes) Leading the conversation at the meeting by: Leading the conversation at the meeting by: Modeling concise story-telling around issues Modeling concise story-telling around issues Making sure everyone has a chance to speak Making sure everyone has a chance to speak Making sure no one person speaks to long or dominates the conversation Making sure no one person speaks to long or dominates the conversation Drawing connections between the stories people share. Drawing connections between the stories people share. Drawing out stories from people who are at first reticent to share. Drawing out stories from people who are at first reticent to share.

11 Responsibilities of a House Meeting Facilitator Identifying potential leaders in the group and following up with them individually. Identifying potential leaders in the group and following up with them individually. Maintaining contact with the participants of the meeting as our organization develops. Maintaining contact with the participants of the meeting as our organization develops. Representing the stories and interests at our April 7 issues convention. Representing the stories and interests at our April 7 issues convention.

12 Anatomy of a House Meeting Beginning: Context Beginning: Context My congregation is part of a county-wide effort to involve our citizenry in solving the region s most pressing problems. Please take a minute to think about the question: What is one thing you would change to make life in Greater Cleveland better for your family and your community, and what story can you share with us in less than two minutes which illustrates why you care so much about that issue? My congregation is part of a county-wide effort to involve our citizenry in solving the region s most pressing problems. Please take a minute to think about the question: What is one thing you would change to make life in Greater Cleveland better for your family and your community, and what story can you share with us in less than two minutes which illustrates why you care so much about that issue? Facilitator goes first to model a 2-minute story. Facilitator goes first to model a 2-minute story.

13 Anatomy of a House Meeting Middle: Conversation Middle: Conversation Go around the circle, giving everyone a chance to share their story. Go around the circle, giving everyone a chance to share their story. Facilitator draws out connections between stories. Facilitator draws out connections between stories. End: What are you willing to do about it? End: What are you willing to do about it? Organize another house meeting of people you know who care about your issue? Organize another house meeting of people you know who care about your issue? Attend the April 7 issues convention with me? Attend the April 7 issues convention with me? Stay in touch around opportunities to act together in the future. Stay in touch around opportunities to act together in the future.

14 Evaluation of a House Meeting People Which participants stood out for their passion, creativity, charisma, or networks? Which participants really seem like they want to do something? Follow-up individually with those people, or pass their names along to a member of your congregation s core team for follow-up.

15 Evaluation of a House Meeting Issues Which issues came up the most? Which issues elicited the most passion and anger? What were the most memorable stories?

16 Tips for Facilitators Establish Ground Rules Everyone gets a chance to speak Listen respectfully and attentively Respect differences of opinion Search for common ground Tell stories, not sermons A story has characters A story has a beginning, middle, and end.

17 Tips for Facilitators Questions to keep conversation moving Why is that issue so important to you? What have you done to act on this concern? Do you know anyone else who feels the same way? How does the story you just told relate to the story Ms. X told earlier in the meeting.

18 Practice House Meetings Break out into 10 groups based on the number on your agenda. Nominate one brave person to facilitate. Rehearse a house meeting, with an emphasis on telling provocative two-minute stories that you will use in your own house meetings. Watch how the conversation organically unfolds. After 40 minutes, give your facilitator applause and some helpful feedback. In the final 15 minutes, go around the circle and give everyone a chance to practice the introduction to the house meeting. Meet back here at 8:40 pm

19 Caucus by Congregation How many house meetings between now and April 7? How many house meetings between now and April 7? Where and how will house meetings be organized? Where and how will house meetings be organized? If necessary, schedule another core team meeting to plan. If necessary, schedule another core team meeting to plan. Report to the larger group how many house meetings your congregation commits to organize.


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