In this post and the next two, I'd like to share the explanation/sample for three of the potential groups, then I'll share a final post listing the actual groups that have formed.
Feel free to discuss and modify the approach, but here’s one suggestion which you can try out as a group tonight. Before you are done, try to agree about what you will bring (in terms of newspapers) next week and where you’d like to go.
1. Prep (normally before you come): look through the paper and bring one or two stories you think would be good discussion pieces. For tonight, split up the local and national paper sections among your group and have each one look for one potential discussion piece.
2. Suggested ‘filters’ for helping choose a piece:
- Choose a political piece, but don’t focus on your politics; discuss the role faith does or doesn’t play or bring to bear on the story.
- Choose an entertainment piece to focus on values, culture, or influence
- Choose a community piece to discuss the role our church or Christians could play in interacting with the need or situation
- Choose a national headline as a prayer topic and discuss ways the group will commit to pray over the next week
3. Figure out a system for what to discuss:
- 10 min. per headline
- Draw from a hat and discuss until you’re “done”; draw another if needed
- Pick a person to bring two (or however many fits your pace and time) any given week
4. Consider additional ways to interact with the news:
- Identify an ongoing prayer need from the news and create a scrapbook/journal and add clippings to update the situation and topic; do this individually or as a group
- Start a blog or Facebook group around what you are doing
5. Be aware of politics and other divisive dynamics; our goal is to see how our faith intersects our culture, not pick fights with each other over political and other viewpoints. If you find that you have widely divergent viewpoints on a matter, consider making it a matter of prayer for a few weeks in preparation for discussion.
6. Finally, see if you can decide where you want to meet next week and following; commit to timeliness in starting and finishing (esp. for choir members and parents who need to be back AT 8pm).