Friday, April 13, 2007

Successful Facilitating: Strong Relationships

Contributed by Jerry S., facilitator of multiple L.I.F.E. support groups

Being a growth oriented facilitator involves not only moderating a group each week, but becoming a relational Christian. Strong relationships in the Christian community will develop resources for the facilitator and creates a referral source. Your future members from the community will approach these referral sources needing help with their own sexual integrity.

I recommend developing strong relationships with Christian Counselors, Senior Pastors, Church staff and lay leaders. This may seem difficult to some facilitators, but if God has called you to counsel in addiction, these relationships will only benefit His kingdom.

One may find it easy to meet and introduce themselves over lunch. Pick one day per week and invite a different member of the Christian community to lunch. When calling to invite them, tell them that you facilitate a support group in the area and that you would like to take him or her to lunch. If they hesitate, let them know that you simply want to introduce your ministry and answer any questions without taking up a lot of their time. Make it known that you want to be a "resource" for them...not a burden. During lunch, tell your own story. Share how your own recovery from sexual addiction has brought you to this point and what a support group has meant to you.

Those that you already have contact with or an established relationship with, make yourself available to pray with them about confidential issues. Whether it is for a member of their congregation, a client, themselves, or someone else hurting – offer to be a part of their prayer team. E-Mail them that you just prayed for them or prayed for a specific issue that concerns them. A hand written note has a positive effect.

Keep these relationships informed by providing them with copies of your newsletter, tell them about new resources like the “Sexual Addiction and the Church: Facing the Fire” DVD, and give them access to ministry resources that you already have. Offer to loan out DVD or CD sets that explain more about the ministry to keep them in the know.

If your group hosts open meetings, invite these referral sources so that they may experience what you are doing first hand. They may be reluctant to come, but continue inviting them anyway.

If you have a call to counsel in this ministry, establishing relationships in your local Christian community can impact more lives, create resources for you, and further connect the different ministries in His kingdom.
Jerry S. is a successful facilitator who facilitates operations of 6 L.I.F.E. Groups including a spouse’s group, organizes retreats, OPEN meetings, one day seminars, marriage seminars and other events for the L.I.F.E. groups in his city.