Young Adults group need help in focusing discussion


#1

I though some of you might know the best way to go about focusing discussion about god AKA Jesus.

About two weeks ago the older members of our church chastized us younger generation for not getting involved. Upon being Chastized I organized a group of us young adults. There are three couples and one single. I had a Pizza party and invited them all over to the house. I hand made Pizza for everone, and we had our beverages of choice. The goal of our organization was to get people talking about Jesus. As most of us our ignorant regarding the why’s of catholicism. Once everyone was feed we tried to start discussion. We more or less hit a dead wall. People feel that their faith is a very personal thing, and they did not want to discuss it. Others felt like they didn’t want to say the wrong thing or be judged by people. We tried very had to talk alittle about Jesus and we did have some local successes. However, most people seemed very tense and unwilling to discuss the magesty of Jesus or the church. This inital meeting was tense but everyone enjoyed it. They all want to meet again, so I believe the interest is there, but I am not educated enough to truely develop a topic of real interest to get people talking.

What I need is a way to invoke people. A way to truely interest them in talking about this topic as it is the Core of the church. If any of you have any ideas on how I should proceed please inform me. Most everyone that met wants this to be a real viable group, and I believe that we all want to deepen our faith or they would not have come. I need a way to proceed gently but pointedly.

Please help if you can.

Thanks,

Matt Costanti


#2

Building a ministry takes time. First of all, a core principle of a bible study, discussion group, prayer group is trust and confidentiality. Establishing the groundrules of confidentiality is essential, and trust comes only with time.

The first activities you do should NOT be focused on people opening up themselves to strangers. They should be focused on getting to know one another, building friendships, and establishing rapport.

I would suggest that there should be 3 or 4 dimensions to your group:

Social
Spiritual
Service
Sports (the optional 4th dimension)

Not every activity has to be “spiritual”. There is such a thing as pizza for the sake of pizza and conversation. Have a meeting, get out a calendar, and plan some activities that touch on all of these dimensions. Start small, b/c you don’t want to fill up the calendar and burn everyone out.

Plan a couple of social outings. Look in your community for what is going on in the way of festivals, plays, restaurants, movies, etc.

Then determine what type of structured spiritual activities you might want to do: a rosary group, a bible study (get one that has video, leader guide, etc), meet for Mass together 1x per month and go to lunch after, etc. Don’t just expect to get together and “talk about Jesus”. You need to have some structure and planning.

On the service end, pick one thing a quarter like going to a local food pantry to work, habitat for humanity volunteering, adopting a family for Thanksgiving, praying at an abortion clinic (that’s too much for some people so make sure you have variety and what people are interested in doing) etc.

And, finally, sports. If there is interest, see if there are any co-ed recreational leagues in your city that you could join as a group… like softball, volleyball, flag football. Totally depends on your group but this builds friendship and it’s lots of fun. Again, that may or may not be your thing.

Start slowly.


#3

Start slow. Take your time…open your group with prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to enter in. Close in prayer too.

I also agree that the first thing you should do is get to know each other. Don’t come charging out of the gate about the heavy things. Keep it light at first. Deeper discussions will follow naturally.

Also, do you have a spritual advisor for the group? There should be someone at the group who is fairly well versed in the faith who can answer any questions sure to arise. If you don’t have anyone yet, perhaps you can talk to your pastor for some suggestions.

Shake the dust off your catechism. That always makes for good topics for discussions.

Your group is in my prayers. I would love to hear how things progress, so drop me a line if you ever get bored.

Paz & God Bless your efforts!


#4

Hi Matt, Nicholas King a Jesuit priest, wrote a series of New Testament study guides. You may want to order a few copies on one the NT books to give your group structure. If people have an idea what is expected of them, they may feel at ease. In the meantime why not download an apologetist for free, play and discuss biblechristiansociety.com/download biblechristiansociety.com/free_tapes.php

A 30-Part Course in Defence of the Catholic Faith
by Robert M. Haddad
theworkofgod.org/Library/Apologtc/R_Haddad/Course/Contents.htm


#5

The people will need to get to nkow each other and be comfortable with each other before speaking out. The best way is to have a short presentation of some sort on video or in person first. Then allow questions or interaction on the topic.


#6

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