Connect Group Guidelines
Connect groups are designed to support one another, not "fix" another.
The purpose of connect groups is to encourage and create deeper connections with others. Whilst we encourage open and deeper level conversation, some people have deeper issues which may need to be addressed by a trained professional or trained counsellor. The Rock Church now has these facilities in place which you can direct your connect group members towards if required
Connect Groups must be consistent.
Each Connect Group term is 10 weeks within during the school term. Please ensure your connect group is run at the allotted time. If for any reason you cannot run your connect group at your allotted time, please notify your Connect Group Coach.
Connect Groups are not to be exclusive.
There must always be room to welcome new people and grow. While close bonds with people are healthy and encouraged we want to avoid "clicks" to the exclusion of others
Connect groups must be planned and intentional
Avoid last minute preparation and last minute announcements. Even if your group is a walking fitness group, your group should have as much information and as possible as early as possible as to times, locations etc
Connect groups should be a safe environment:
Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in the group stays in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others. We need to create a safe place where people can be heard and feel loved (no quick answers, snap judgements, or simple fixes). You are there to build and maintain trust with the people you lead. Trust can take a long time to build but a split moment to break.
Connect groups should be organic. They should be allowed to grow, shrink, move etc.
People's circumstances change all the time (including your own). Don't be anxious about people moving in and out of your connect group each term. Connect groups are meant to be seasonal and this small season should be seen as your opportunity to positively input into another persons life. Your only requirement will be commit to the term you have allotted to run your connect group. Connect groups aren't competitions to see how big you can grow them. Some of the most effective connect groups may have only 3 people. Please don't hesitate to contact your coach if any issues or concerns arise.
Always avoid gossip. As leaders we will always need to learn to deal with conflict and issues as they arise in your group. Please don't hesitate to consult your connect group coach
Refrain from the use of offensive language.
Avoid using offensive language as a connect group leader(even if it's trying to make a point). Our hope is you would have people in your connect group that would not be church attendees at this stage. Whilst offensive language is common amongst non church goers, encourage them to refrain whilst within your group but also don't be too harsh and judgemental. It may take some time for people to break bad habits
Avoid Political opinions
While some are quite passionate about their political views, avoid expressing these within a connect group
Use of Social Media
Please be very cautious about your use of Social Media. Though it's great to promote the awesome things your connect group is doing on social media, please ask the members of your group first as some don't wish posts about them.
Limit our Freedom
Whilst people have their own convictions about the personal consumption of alcohol, please don't serve or consume alcohol during small group meetings or events so as to avoid causing a weaker brother or sister to stumble
e.g If you have a dinner night for families or curry night, avoid serving wine or beer