Resources for Developing
Small Christian Communities
Guidelines for Belonging
to a Small Christian Community
Facilitators should give these guidelines to all community members at the beginning of the first meeting and whenever a new person joins the group.
- Familiarize yourself with the week’s study materials before the meeting.
- Remember that each person is important because the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
- Listen to everyone with your heart.
- Share from your heart; don’t discuss what you know in your intellect, but do share what you feel in your heart and what you have learned from experience.
- Apply the scriptures to your own life and share personal insights and stories.
- Listen with empathy for the innermost feelings of others.
- Accept everyone for who they are and what they believe.
- Protect all confidences; personal sharings do not leave the room!
- No one is made fun of, regardless of viewpoint or lifestyle.
- Do not talk unkindly about a member who is not present.
- If someone wants to cry, don’t tell him to stop, but do offer comfort.
- When someone shares a problem, don’t try to fix or rescue, but do share how you got through a similar problem.
- Don’t be judgmental; you don’t know the other’s intentions, motives, etc.
- Look for other members after Masses and make a point to converse with them.
- Now and then, plan to meet other members for Saturday breakfast or invite them to other group events you normally participate in, such as holiday parties.
- When members are absent from a meeting, give them a call during the week to let them know they were missed and to share how the meeting went.