Friday, September 29, 2006

Group Hugs

From this week's Friday Five at RevGalBlogPals:

1. Tell us about any group(s) you currently belong to.
I'm assuming you don't mean all of the "study groups" I have in my on-line classes! AI YI YI!!! Anyway... Right now the groups I'm in include:

  • A "Moms in Touch" prayer group that meets every other week to pray for the students at our high school. All of us have high school students, all of us are believers (though some of our kids are slogging through their own questions about their personal faith walk!)
  • A praise band that serves on a rotating schedule.
  • A leadership team (called a "cadre", though I am an ex-officio member) for a spring "Walk to Emmaus" weekend.
  • A small group Bible study for singles that my husband and I host and lead here in our home.
  • A large extended family, most of whom live out of state, sadly.
2. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend?
Oh, very energized! I have actually cut back on my groups because of school. Yes, I'm a real introvert.... NOT!

3. Is there a role you naturally find yourself playing in group situations? That is, do you naturally fall into the leader role, or the one who always makes sure the new person feels welcome, or the quiet one who sits back and lets others shine, or the host?
I am a "jump-in-with-both-feet" type person. Interestingly, none of the groups listed above do I have a primary responsibility. But I'm not a shadow member either. (I hear my husband chuckling...)

4. Handshakes vs. hugs: discuss.
You HAVE to respect personal space bubbles, here...
  • Emmaus - hugs. Always.
  • MIT - neither.
  • Praise team - neither, though there are people I know well who always get a hug.
  • Small group - some prefer a handshake, a few always want a hug.
  • Family - hugs, hugs, hugs.

5. Ice breakers: a playful way to build community in a lighthearted manner, or a complete and utter hell of forced fun and awkwardness?

I do not particularly like them. However, they do help set safe boundaries for discussion. As long as they are not too contrived, they work.

One ice breaker I frequently use (esp. if the group does not know each other) is a favorite kind of ice cream. And if someone is lactose intolerant, they share their favorite kind of frozen dessert. Haven't found anyone yet who can't come up with a popsicle or SOMETHING that they would walk on nails for on a 110 degree day.

And yes, the biggest self-discipline I have to exercise is limiting my social aka "group" time so that I can get my studying and chores done. I suspect that this will be my life-long struggle in ministry...

from our home to yours...


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