How rewarding it is to walk with others through their recovery journey!

We wanted to share some helpful information about leading a support group based on our study guide, “Walking the 12 Steps with Jesus Christ.”

What are some characteristics of great groups?

• Focus remains on the subject
• Conflicts are managed as they arise
• Everyone feels valuable and comfortable when participating in discussions
• Members become a small community to support and encourage one another
• Members feel they share group ownership
• Members are able to respectfully hold each other accountable—when this is requested

What are some traits of great facilitators:

• Are committed, dependable, and love people
• Know the material well enough to apply to self and others
• Can be flexible, patient, friendly, and enthusiastic
• Are able to guide, model, encourage, and support
• Are great listeners and not afraid of silence
• Are able to stay on topic, enforce the Discussion Guidelines, and handle conflict
• Are able to encourage safe environments and harmony

We encourage facilitating rather than teaching, so what is the difference?

  • Facilitating consists of: more active listening, lots of questions and discussion, leader participation and guidance, keeping the group as a whole the focus, and smaller number of members.
  • Teaching consists of: the leader doing most of the talking, more lecturing and giving information, the leader is the focus, and larger number of members.

How do adults learn best?

• When they sense a need to cope with real-life situations
• When they take charge of their own learning through questions and discussing

Behavior is most likely to change when:

Adults can test and apply new knowledge and skills in their learning environment. This is why it is a good idea to practice Step Work whenever the group is willing. Step Work includes: identifying wrongs in the Step 4 inventory, sharing inventory in Step 5, doing the Soul Tie Breaking Prayer, Exercise for Confessing Sin, and Healing Memories in Steps 6 & 7, and practicing the Daily Personal Inventory in Step 10.

Be aware that:

• Adults approach new concepts with prior knowledge that may be unique to them. This knowledge can either help or inhibit new learning—sometimes we need to “un-learn” in order to learn.
• People make life choices based on how they receive and process information, how they feel, what they have experienced, and what is important to them. It is always wise to guard against making judgements.

Final thoughts:

• Group Facilitators are not expected to have the answer to every question!
• Our office is here to support and assist you. You are not alone. Feel free to contact us at lonnie@christian12step.org or renee@christian12step.org or call (352) 732-0877 with any questions or comments.