Small Group Dynamics
share groups - ongoing community groups

The purpose of these articles is to provide guidelines for building healthy ongoing "share" groups that experience a sense of community. In coming weeks, resource articles for forming and maintaining such groups will be added.

A Short Definition:

A small group is one where a group of people commit to meet together periodically to share their lives with each other in authentic communication. In doing so, each person can grow and learn from the others as well as contribute meaning to the group. This can inclued a nember of different kinds of small groups, ongoing communities, learning communities, and school groups.

ABOUT ONGOING SHARE GROUPS

Ongoing share groups can provide a safe place to practice how to live with each other and learning about yourself. Consider the meetings as a laboratory of life experiences, communicated to each other and to yourself in a "trial and error" process. This process can allow you to learn how to communicate effectivly when you recongize you may have not communited properly and try it again a different way.

Groups can have a number of different goals, but they must include learning to accept and transcend differences regardless of the diversity of individual backgrounds (social, spiritual, educational, ethnic, economic, political, etc.) To communicate authentically and openly while working toward group goals identified as being for the common good. In time, a group can learn how to drop their pretenses, overcome obstacles and reach out to help or emotionally support one another and, in the process, find surprising strength, tolerance and acceptance. This phenomenon is called a "collective spirit", that emerges during a crisis, or community. Building community takes time, commitment and caring about each other.
Such groups can be Learning Communitues where the participants learn about a profession, a team goal, or other subjects while being an authentic community.


RESOURCES:

20 Frequently Asked Questions About Groups (CLICK)

God's Garden for Growth in small groups, an illustration (CLICK)

14 Ice Breakers, Warmups, Energizers and Motivators for Groups (CLICK)

Quaker Questions (CLICK)

Who can Participate in Groups? (CLICK)

How Many Should be in a Group? (CLICK)

Is there a better day of the week to meet for small groups? (CLICK)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open and Closed groups? (CLICK)

Should a person ever be ejected from a workshop or an ongoing group? (CLICK)

Frequently Asked Questions About Share-community Groups (CLICK)

Book list (CLICK)


AdditionalTopics to be added will include:

  • Suggested Formats for Group Meetings

  • How to Do the First Several Meetings

  • How to Build Trust and Respect in a Group

  • What Causes Groups to Fail?

  • Healthy Chaos IS Needed in Groups

  • Facilitative Guidelines Do’s and Don’ts

  • Effective Exercises for Most Groups

  • Group Maintenance

  • More . . . . . . .


Home  | Group Resources | The Road Not Taken | Community Building Process  | 
A Community Sermon  | Ongoing - Small Groups

Website COPYRIGHT Jerry L. Hampton 2000 - 2006
revised October 3, 2006

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This site originates in Arlington Texas