12 Crucial Ingredients
1. We accept one another as we are and where we are.
2. We share to the extent we are free to share from our own struggles and successes, victories and failures, joys and pains. This is not the choice of others.
3. We are honest with ourselves and others, telling it like it is. The kind of honesty the groups seek to achieve is never separated from Christian love – love for God, love for self, and love for one another.
4. We listen to one another, to what is said, and for what is meant.
5. We don’t criticize or condemn what others share, but we seek to affirm the positive we see in another that he or she may not know is there.
6. We don’t give advice – unless it is specifically requested.
7. We gather to care and be cared for, and not to cure. If we care for each other, God will do the curing.
8. We share our experience of faith in our words, not someone else’s experience in his or her words. We share experiences – not ideas.
9. We seek to trust one another, knowing that what we share will remain within the group (establishing a trust level takes time).
10. We give to ourselves and others the freedom to be silent.
11. We gather with a purpose and avoid impersonal subjects that can be discussed anywhere. The discussion time, however, is always informal and natural.
12. We encourage one another to ministry beyond the group.