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Tips for facilitating group activities

  • Consider changing the usual meeting environment to stimulate creative thinking.
  • Keep the end goal of decisive action in mind for the duration of the activity.
  • Open with a brief overview of the activity so participants know what to expect.
  • Be careful and consistent to maintain pre-set boundaries of time and task.
  • Encourage small group self-management; suggest that each group select a recorder, a reporter, a time keeper, and a discussion leader.
  • Work with the people, ideas, and motivations you have to find enough common ground to act rather than being bogged down or sidetracked with an attempt to resolve “deeper issues”.
  • Seek global perspective on issues by allowing all opinions to be expressed, validating polarities, and by agreeing to disagree on issues that cannot be resolved quickly.
  • Encourage people to stay engaged in spite of differences. Resist the urge to intervene unless you observe movement toward ‘fight or flight’. Allow the group to resolve its own differences or agree to set them aside.
  • Provide plenty of easily available nutritious snacks and beverages.
  • Consider using a Church Futures consultant to add depth and breadth of experience.
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