Well, What is our Course?

If your group feels aimless, you may want to consider your mission.

Darryl's group has been a group for more than a year now, but he is wondering why exactly they are a group. They seem to have a good time together and they have had some good studies, but the group just seems to be off course to Darryl. He asked the rest of the group what they feel about this and one guy in the group asked, "Well, what is our course?" Darryl wasn't sure how to answer that, and neither did anyone else.

What should Darryl Do?

It sounds as if Darryl hasn't dealt effectively with the mission dilemma. Good thing we're revisiting it with this issue. If you didn't see the December 1997 issue, be sure to go back and read the discussion of mission in "Darryl's Dilemma."

Sometimes it's difficult to implement mission, especially with an existing group. It's sort of like trying to teach your teenager table manners if you didn't do it when he was young. But fear not. There are some concrete things Darryl can do to recover from this one.

Length of Group

There are two ways to manage how long a group will meet. Ideally, this will be considered in defining the mission in the beginning of the group, but if not, he can bring it up now. The advantage of discussing the length of the group in the beginning is that it gives people a graceful way out and at the same time, commits them for the agreed upon duration. There are basically two ways to approach the length of the group: (1) fixed and (2) forever.

The fixed group meets for a specified period of time—a certain number of weeks or until this study is done or whatever other schedule makes sense. People understand that they are committed to the group for that period of time. If they don't like what's going on or if their circumstances change, there is a predefined time when ...

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