Discussion Guidelines

Engagement, Respect and Confidentiality

Welcome to Almaden Neighborhood Church Bible study. Thank you for joining our community. It is the goal of Almaden Neighborhood Church Women’s Ministry to help create, a safe and fun place to share and grow in the knowledge of God through His Word. Let us all help make this group a safe place for everyone. “… the only thing that matters is faith working through love.” ~ Galatians 5:6

Here are guidelines for our small group discussion.

  1. While others are talking, please let them finish without interruption.
    “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” ~James 1:19
    “If one answers before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” ~Proverbs 18:13
  2. No fixing. We are to listen, support and be supported by each other in the group, not give unsolicited advice and correction. We allow the Bible to clarify our misunderstanding.
    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” ~2Timothy 3:16
  3. Speak in the “I” form instead of “we,” they” or “you.” It helps us take responsibility for our feelings and accept them as being valid.
    Examples:
    “I believe…” rather than, ” They say …”
    “I felt angry that…” rather than “She made me so angry…”
    “I think…” rather than “Don’t you think…”
    “I felt hurt when…” rather than “She hurt my feelings…”
    “In…(reference chapter and verse), I read God’s word saying … and to me that means…” rather than, ” God’s Word says…, and so we need to do…” It gives room for other theological positions and acknowledges each other’s freedom to make their Biblical interpretation.
  4. Keep sharing to no more than five minutes so that others may be able to share.
  5. Try to share from the heart as honestly as you can. It is okay to cry, laugh, be angry or show other emotions in the group without criticism or judgment from others.
    “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” ~Romans 12:15
  6. Maintaining confidentiality of shared personal information is very important for building and maintaining trust, and ensuring an open and honest communication between each other.
    A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter. ~Proverbs 11:13
  7. We are in various stages of spiritual growth and from different backgrounds. Let newcomers allow themselves to be new and bring their unique understanding of God’s word. We encourage everyone to share, without making it a requirement to do so. Let us grow together as we study God’s love letters to us.

Thus, it is to each person’s benefit to choose, participate and struggle with the challenges that come with studying the Word and express their unique views. Ultimately, God’s Word speaks for itself. We submit ourselves to God’s teaching through His Word.