We’re so excited for Dinner Groups and hope you’ve found a group to join! These groups exist to create community and provide a safe environment where people have the opportunity to pursue healthy relationships and spiritual growth.
In the weeks come, here are three simple ways you can get the most out of your group:
It all starts here. You can’t enjoy group if you’re not present. This begins by finding a dinner group where you can be the most consistent. That means finding a night that works best with your schedule. We know life and work will interrupt from time to time, but if you’re in town be sure to be there. Your group needs you just as much as you need them.
It’s not enough to just be there physically; showing up also means being mentally present at dinner group. This one is personally a challenge for me. We live in a culture where work can follow us home and interrupt us 24 hours a day. We’re encouraged and baited into constantly being in “the know,” so we check our email, social media and news feed over and over again. When you get to group, give others the gift of your full attention. Turn off or silence your phone so it won’t distract you from loving and engaging with those around you.
Joining in is all about contribution. What can you give and provide to the group?
Are there specific skills that you have that your group could benefit from?
Unsure how you could help? Just ask your leader. We want everyone to have a bit of ownership in the group. I’ll also admit that some of our leaders, including myself, tend to hog up all the responsibilities. You have my permission to challenge them kindly into sharing those tasks. When we all own a little bit of the group, it helps lighten the load for everyone. And when people are encouraged to use their gifts for others, it just makes for a much better group and allows us to grow.
Contribution is also about what you share in group. Your group members want to hear from you. When appropriate, we want to hear your experiences, opinions, thoughts and questions. This leads to our last point…
I make it a personal goal in group each week to make sure you see the real me, not the me I you want me to see. We want to hear from the real you. We encourage you to be authentic as well. It’s hard for group members to help each other when they aren’t bringing their real selves.
In order for others to be authentic, we need to build trust among group members so they feel comfortable being real. This means we have to keep things shared in group confidential. Nothing destroys community faster than gossip.
Being real — and showing others our true selves — requires vulnerability. But it’s this vulnerability that drives real connection. Dinner group is a great place to meet lifelong friends and mentors, but only if you take the time to invest in the group, the conversations you’re having and those around you.
Will you commit this group season to show up, join in, and be real?
Still looking for a group to join? Find one here.