Moving from the relational portion of the evening into the more structured portion of the night can be difficult and seem somewhat cold in tone if done poorly. Our goal is that participants would be introduced to the curriculum in a way that would help them understand the importance of the material and the structure of our groups. Again, much like the group introductions this will be different for each group depending on the number of participants, current place in the curriculum, and how group leaders use the curriculum within the context of the group.
- Introduce Purpose
With many participants understanding the why can increase the likelihood of participation in the group. When individuals understand the need for the curriculum, especially between meetings, they are much more likely to take the curriculum seriously. Groups should introduce the curriculum as a way of staying involved with the group throughout the week. If the only energy that is put into overcoming the struggle is done the night of G4 meetings, it is probable that the growth will be minimal.
The curriculum serves as a helpful tool in helping to understand the struggle and potentially help participants discover why their struggle has been so difficult to overcome. Furthermore, the curriculum allows the individual to spend time meditating on and reading God’s word as they work through the material and find references and Bible studies within the chapters. While the group is meant for discussion, time alone with the curriculum allows for quiet learning, reflection, and meditation on the scriptures.
- Introduce Function
For new group members, it is very possible that they will be overwhelmed by the introduction to the curriculum that they were given in the lobby. Being handed a thick packet on your first night might not have been the expectation many new members have for a recovery-support group if they had any expectations at all. Taking time to explain to new members the way the curriculum functions is vital to their success. They must understand that while curriculum is discussed and used during the meetings, it is necessary for them to have read the assigned section before coming to group so that they are able to discuss the material well.In each group, there will be different amounts of work that will be done each week between meetings. Some groups assign page numbers, sections, or entire chapters. The amount of work that is assigned will be determined by the progress that is made during the group each week. The curriculum and its use in group is meant to be a tool that is used to set the group up to have successful and profitable conversations.
- Introduce Current Position
Because our groups are continuously open, not everyone will start at the same position in the material. For some, this may be difficult because they might feel lost in the curriculum initially. At G4, we understand that not everyone seeking help will be on the first step of their journey during their first week with us, and therefore, starting in the middle for them will be helpful because you will be starting closer to where they are in their struggle. However, for some the idea of jumping into the middle of the curriculum seems overwhelming and impossible.
Depending on where you are in the curriculum when a new person enters, you might encourage them to start at the beginning and to catch up to you with extra time spent reading the material. For other who join in the last half of the steps, it might be beneficial to recommend Brad Hambrick’s video recordings as a supplement for the chapters that were missed until the material is finished and started again. This recommendation will be done based on the time at which the individual comes into the group and begins the material.