Committing to G4
At the end of the second post here on motivation, you were challenged to commit to G4 for a minimum of six weeks. There are several reasons that we suggest committing six weeks to exploring and determining the helpfulness of the ministry. During that time, you should consider how not only your motivation for change is impacted but also the practical shifts that happen to you while you are engaged in the group. Our desire is that during that six-week period you will move from tentatively attending G4 to fully participating in G4.
What is the difference between a person who is attending G4 versus someone who is participating in our G4 ministry? There are a few major differences outlined below:
Minimum Vulnerability: A person who is merely attending G4 is someone who might come each week with regularity even though they occasionally miss group. They have found that the material and the people in the group can be helpful in small ways but does not yet believe in the potential lasting impact. The person is willing to share some details of their life and their struggle but has yet to fully engage with the community and accountability of the group. Often times they will share with the group some of their milder struggles from the previous week but hold back those details that would make them potentially vulnerable.
- Reflection: What is the most vulnerable disclosure you’ve made in group to this point?
Modest Time Commitment: Often times the individual who has not committed to being a participant at G4 will bring their material with them, but that is because it was left in their vehicle from the week before. They have not chosen to spend time studying the material or answering the questions that have been provided in the curriculum. They often make excuses about not having enough time to complete the homework between meetings and are unprepared during group discussions.
- Assessment: What is the average number of minutes you spend in study, reflection, and prayer over the struggle that brought you to G4?
Mostly Cognitive Change: Lastly, this person has yet to begun implementing even the smallest changes that are discussed in the material or during the group. They are resistant to change because they do not truly believe that what the change has to offer them is better than the situation they are in currently. When asked to make sacrifices for the change they say they desire, they are hesitant or make change until the point of sacrifice to preserve comfort.
- Reflection: What is the clearest example that your efforts at change have gone deeper than thinking about what you ought to do differently?
Invested Vulnerability: A person who has chosen to commit to being a participant is someone who attends G4 each week and has made it a priority in their life to be at group each week. They have found the material and the people in the group to be helpful and have chosen to lean into the accountability and community of the group. They are honest with the group even when doing so leads them to feel vulnerable and to receive some correction. They do not withhold from the group even when they know that they have had a difficult week.
- Reflection: What disclosures are you withholding that would allow the peer-support setting of G4 to more meaningful assist you in your walk with Christ through your struggle?
Substantive Time Commitment: A committed participant is one who has spent time working through the curriculum during the week and has read, and most likely re-read, the section of material that will be covered in group. The individual has spent dedicated time understanding their curriculum and comes to the group prepared to share their understanding and the impact of the material on their situation. They have answered the questions to the best of their ability and grappled with those things that they did not understand. They have prioritized working the curriculum as a part of their G4 experience and understand that sacrificing time for that commitment is necessary.
- Assessment: How much time per week would indicate of full commitment to investing in G4 in a way that would allow for maximum benefit from attending weekly meetings?
Head-Heart-Hand Changes: Lastly, this person has begun to make changes that would in some small way indicate growth. Not all of these changes will look the same for every participant. For some it will be as simple as watching one less TV show each day so that they can study the curriculum. They have begun to understand that the desire for the change far outweighs the potential cost that will be experienced by continuing to live in their current situation.
- Exercise: As you study your G4 curriculum, begin the habit of reflecting on each new insight (head/intellectual change) until you have an understanding of the new value (heart) and actions (hands) that this insight should produce.
Make the Switch
As you read the two sections above, we ask you to consider the question, does either of those types of person resonate with you? Are you simply attending G4 or have you made the commitment to be an active participant?
If you are simply attending and you do not believe that you are seeing the change that you desired to see, perhaps it is because you need to commit to being an active participant in G4 as described above. We would urge you to begin to invest your time and energy into being an active participant in G4 rather than a passively attending. Begin to devote time and effort to coming to group every week prepared. Decide now to being putting in the amount of work that is required to see change.
If after reading the above sections and you feel like you are an active participant but you have yet to begin to see change, remember that change will take time. Often the fruits of our labor are not seen until later in our journey. Do not allow your perceived lack of progress be a discouragement. Ask those in your group for guidance and wisdom. Allow the community of the group to serve as your encouragement and allow time for change. Often, they will see changes in your life even before you are able to see it in yourself.
Choosing to commit time to working through a struggle is not an easy decision because it requires work and dedication. However, if you choose to commit to G4, at least you will not work through those struggles alone. Here at G4, we desire to combine discipleship, community, and accountability in such a way that you if you agree to walk with us, we will walk with you in every step of your journey so that as you commit to us, we are committing to you.