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How to Lead a Small Group Discussion With a “Spirituality of Leadership” ~Guidelines for Table Captains~

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Presentation on theme: "How to Lead a Small Group Discussion With a “Spirituality of Leadership” ~Guidelines for Table Captains~"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Lead a Small Group Discussion With a “Spirituality of Leadership” ~Guidelines for Table Captains~

2 A Spiritual Prelude… A Captain should be both a Spiritual Mentor and a Fellow Catholic Pilgrim on his own journey A Captain should be both a Spiritual Mentor and a Fellow Catholic Pilgrim on his own journey As a Mentor, he needs to be devoted to Jesus Christ and His Church, consciously striving to live the Devout Life as “Priest, Prophet, and King” in his own life and among the men at his table As a Mentor, he needs to be devoted to Jesus Christ and His Church, consciously striving to live the Devout Life as “Priest, Prophet, and King” in his own life and among the men at his table As a Fellow Catholic Pilgrim, he is to share in the journey of the men at his table: a spiritual journey of faith and doubt; virtue and sin; joy and sorrow; a journey whose end is Heaven As a Fellow Catholic Pilgrim, he is to share in the journey of the men at his table: a spiritual journey of faith and doubt; virtue and sin; joy and sorrow; a journey whose end is Heaven

3 The Devout Life St. Francis DeSales calls devotion, “simply true love of God.” St. Francis DeSales calls devotion, “simply true love of God.” All Catholics who practice the minimum of their faith will encounter God’s Grace and cooperate with Charity working through them. All Catholics who practice the minimum of their faith will encounter God’s Grace and cooperate with Charity working through them. The Devout Man, however, will seek God more frequently, consciously, and with greater passion, always in a way that enhances his own vocation and state in life. The Devout Man, however, will seek God more frequently, consciously, and with greater passion, always in a way that enhances his own vocation and state in life.

4 The Devout Man seeks and finds God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Who is found in the Catholic Church… The Devout Man seeks and finds God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Who is found in the Catholic Church… …most excellently in Communion with the community of believers at Mass. …most excellently in Communion with the community of believers at Mass. …by devout reception of the sacraments. …by devout reception of the sacraments. …by liturgical and personal prayer that extends and deepens his relationship with Christ. Consider a Holy Hour. Sign up: http://stmmm.org/adoration.html …by liturgical and personal prayer that extends and deepens his relationship with Christ. Consider a Holy Hour. Sign up: http://stmmm.org/adoration.html http://stmmm.org/adoration.html http://stmmm.org/adoration.html …by forming his intellect and conscience through spiritual reading. …by forming his intellect and conscience through spiritual reading. …by acts of Charity to love his neighbor as himself. …by acts of Charity to love his neighbor as himself. The Devout Life

5 A Spiritual Leader: Priest, Prophet, and King The Catholic Leader participates in Christ’s Priesthood: “all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body…even the hardships of life if patiently born…become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God…[consecrating] the world itself to God…” (CCC #901). The Catholic Leader participates in Christ’s Priesthood: “all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body…even the hardships of life if patiently born…become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God…[consecrating] the world itself to God…” (CCC #901). The Table Captain may see his role as joined to a priest's role: bringing others closer to God by “consecrating the world to God,” offering his time and prayers as a sacrifice for the good of his soul and the souls of the men at his table. The Table Captain may see his role as joined to a priest's role: bringing others closer to God by “consecrating the world to God,” offering his time and prayers as a sacrifice for the good of his soul and the souls of the men at his table.

6 A Spiritual Leader: Priest, Prophet, and King The Catholic Leader participates in Christ’s office as Prophet. In the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, “To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and believer” (CCC #904). This is to be done both by word and the testimony of life” (#905). The Catholic Leader participates in Christ’s office as Prophet. In the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, “To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and believer” (CCC #904). This is to be done both by word and the testimony of life” (#905). The Table Captain should avail himself of the great wealth of classic and contemporary Christian Literature so he can better Know, Explain, Defend, and Love his Catholic Faith. Good spiritual reading is also like a guidebook on the journey to God that can help a man seek and find. The Table Captain should avail himself of the great wealth of classic and contemporary Christian Literature so he can better Know, Explain, Defend, and Love his Catholic Faith. Good spiritual reading is also like a guidebook on the journey to God that can help a man seek and find. Any Priest, Deacon, or fellow Devout Pilgrim would be happy to recommend spiritual reading that has helped to form his own intellect, conscience, and prayer life. JUST ASK! MM web link: “Faith and Formation” “http://stmmm.org/RT-FaithFormation.html Any Priest, Deacon, or fellow Devout Pilgrim would be happy to recommend spiritual reading that has helped to form his own intellect, conscience, and prayer life. JUST ASK! MM web link: “Faith and Formation” “http://stmmm.org/RT-FaithFormation.html“http://stmmm.org/RT-FaithFormation.html

7 A Spiritual Leader: Priest, Prophet, and King The Catholic Leader is called to participate in Christ’s Kingly office… The Catholic Leader is called to participate in Christ’s Kingly office… …by making “his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself…[refusing] to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul…” (CCC #908). …by making “his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself…[refusing] to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul…” (CCC #908). …by cooperating with his “pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the sake of its growth and life” (#910). MM web link: “Outreach” http://stmmm.org/RT-MissionOutreach.html …by cooperating with his “pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the sake of its growth and life” (#910). MM web link: “Outreach” http://stmmm.org/RT-MissionOutreach.html http://stmmm.org/RT-MissionOutreach.html The Table Captain should see his role as a true form of Christian Leadership, remembering always Christ the Leader: Servant and Good Shepherd. The Table Captain should see his role as a true form of Christian Leadership, remembering always Christ the Leader: Servant and Good Shepherd.

8 A Fellow Catholic Pilgrim The Table Captain should nevertheless always remember that he is a Brother in Christ on his own journey to God; a journey with other Brothers in the Lord. Let him remember the words of the Pastoral Constitution of the Church (Vatican II): The Table Captain should nevertheless always remember that he is a Brother in Christ on his own journey to God; a journey with other Brothers in the Lord. Let him remember the words of the Pastoral Constitution of the Church (Vatican II): “The joys and the hopes, the [grief] and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the [grief] and anxieties of the followers of Christ” (G et S, #1). “The joys and the hopes, the [grief] and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the [grief] and anxieties of the followers of Christ” (G et S, #1). The Table Captain should share in the faith, doubts, moral victories, sinful failings, joys, and sorrows of his group as he offers and facilitates encouragement and brotherly support among the husbands, fathers, and sons at his table. MM web link: “Inspirational Docs/Videos” http://stmmm.org/InspirationalDocs.html The Table Captain should share in the faith, doubts, moral victories, sinful failings, joys, and sorrows of his group as he offers and facilitates encouragement and brotherly support among the husbands, fathers, and sons at his table. MM web link: “Inspirational Docs/Videos” http://stmmm.org/InspirationalDocs.htmlhttp://stmmm.org/InspirationalDocs.html

9 Small Group Discussions Set the Tone Set the Tone Navigate Navigate Environment Environment Facilitate Facilitate Dealing with Silence Dealing with Silence Encourage Encourage

10 Small Group Discussions Create an open prayerful environment Create an open prayerful environment Listen actively Listen actively Encourage participation Encourage participation Make members feel at ease Make members feel at ease Members look to you for guidance and leadership Members look to you for guidance and leadership Set the Tone

11 Navigate Keep the conversation on track Keep the conversation on track Focus on topic and questions for discussion Focus on topic and questions for discussion It is ok to digress to the extent group is willing to “go there” BUT It is ok to digress to the extent group is willing to “go there” BUT be mindful of the relevance of discussion to the overall theme of the day be mindful of the relevance of discussion to the overall theme of the day relate the “off-topic” discussion back to the general theme of the session relate the “off-topic” discussion back to the general theme of the session Foster an atmosphere of acceptance of each member’s point of view Foster an atmosphere of acceptance of each member’s point of view Let the group explore various related themes to the topic at hand but do not hesitate to steer the discussion back to the main point of the discussion Let the group explore various related themes to the topic at hand but do not hesitate to steer the discussion back to the main point of the discussion Small Group Discussions

12 Environment Everyone who wants to speak should have the opportunity to do so Everyone who wants to speak should have the opportunity to do so Create an environment where members feel comfortable speaking freely Create an environment where members feel comfortable speaking freely Encourage others to listen – the speaker should have the ability to finish his thought before someone else jumps in Encourage others to listen – the speaker should have the ability to finish his thought before someone else jumps in The ideal table complement is five members The ideal table complement is five members Be aware of the tables around you Be aware of the tables around you If there are too few or too many people at your table make an effort to encourage consolidation If there are too few or too many people at your table make an effort to encourage consolidation Be sensitive to body language Be sensitive to body language Someone may not be speaking but their actions may indicate that they are uncomfortable with a particular discussion thread Someone may not be speaking but their actions may indicate that they are uncomfortable with a particular discussion thread Attempt to steer the conversation away from a topic which may make someone uncomfortable Attempt to steer the conversation away from a topic which may make someone uncomfortable Small Group Discussions

13 Keep the conversation moving when it appears to be slowing Keep the conversation moving when it appears to be slowing Attempt to connect the points members have made on a particular subject Attempt to connect the points members have made on a particular subject Do not let any one person, yourself included, monopolize the discussion Do not let any one person, yourself included, monopolize the discussion Try to keep everyone engaged and sharing Try to keep everyone engaged and sharing Draw those who have a tendency not to speak into the discussion by actively seeking their views on the question; but do not press if they are not ready to speak. Draw those who have a tendency not to speak into the discussion by actively seeking their views on the question; but do not press if they are not ready to speak. Facilitate Small Group Discussions

14 Dealing with Silence Do not fear silence Do not fear silence Members may be digesting a question and trying to frame a response Members may be digesting a question and trying to frame a response Silence may be awkward but it is OK Silence may be awkward but it is OK If silence persists, move to another question and suggest that the group can come back to the topic later if there is time remaining If silence persists, move to another question and suggest that the group can come back to the topic later if there is time remaining Small Group Discussions

15 Encourage Encourage sharing by affirming the input being given by members Encourage sharing by affirming the input being given by members Share with the larger group important points that may have been discussed Share with the larger group important points that may have been discussed These comments could be of a general nature, or These comments could be of a general nature, or if they are personal make sure that your group is comfortable sharing. if they are personal make sure that your group is comfortable sharing. Small Group Discussions

16 Final Thoughts Additional helpful suggestions When meeting with a new group for the first time, go around the table and ask each member to introduce and tell a little about themselves When meeting with a new group for the first time, go around the table and ask each member to introduce and tell a little about themselves Familiarize yourself with the weekly reading ahead of time Familiarize yourself with the weekly reading ahead of time Read aloud or ask a volunteer to read aloud each question then seek a consensus as to which question should be tackled first Read aloud or ask a volunteer to read aloud each question then seek a consensus as to which question should be tackled first Small Group Discussions

17 Final Thoughts (con’t) Do not focus on one person and do not let one person drive the discussion Do not focus on one person and do not let one person drive the discussion Keep the members of your table at ease by creating a warm relaxed environment Keep the members of your table at ease by creating a warm relaxed environment Share your own personal experiences when appropriate as a way to encourage others to share, but avoid pressuring anyone to speak Share your own personal experiences when appropriate as a way to encourage others to share, but avoid pressuring anyone to speak Laughter can be a great way to put the group at ease and make members more inclined to share. However reestablish a more serious tone when the time is right to move on Laughter can be a great way to put the group at ease and make members more inclined to share. However reestablish a more serious tone when the time is right to move on Small Group Discussions


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