Interested in hosting a small group using Calm My Anxious Heart?
We would love to help you get started!
Leading a small group using Calm My Anxious Heart does not have to be scary. You do not have to be the smartest person in the room. You just have to be willing to gather some friends, facilitate the conversation, and create a safe environment.
1. Gather some friends. You can do this! Just invite some friends from your work, church, or neighborhood. Pick a place and a time. Decide how much you want to meet: once a month, twice a month, or weekly. The author probably intended for participants to read a chapter a week and then discuss the questions in the back of the book. You can follow this format or you can do what our group at Wiregrass Hope Group is doing – read two chapters a week and reduce the number of questions to the following:
Chapter 1 - 2, 7, 8
Chapter 2 - 2, 3, 5, 8
Chapter 3 - 5, 6, 7, 1
Chapter 4 - 2, 3, 4, 6
Chapter 5 - 5, 8, 9
Chapter 6 - 3, 4, 7, 8
Chapter 7 - 2, 3, 5
Chapter 8 - 3, 4, 8
Chapter 9 - 4, 7, 8, 10
Chapter 10 - 2, 3, 5, 6
Chapter 11 - 3, 5, 7
Chapter 12 - 2, 3, 4
2. Facilitate the conversation. This just takes a little prep work. Use Undivided Women posts and the book. Look back over what you studied. Pick out some things to discuss and use the questions provided by the back of the book.
3. Create a safe environment. Everyone needs to feel safe. This means you encourage them to share and are kind about everyone’s answers. You also want people to feel like what they share in the group stays in the group. Discuss the issue of confidentiality and stick to it!
Here are some suggestions for your first meeting:
- Thank everyone for coming (saying thank you never ever goes out of style!).
- Go over briefly what to expect: dates/time/place of meetings, and format (opening prayer, material to cover each week, discussion questions, etc.).
- Briefly introduce yourself, then ask the group to introduce themselves! Keep in mind you will probably set the standard for what is shared during introductions – keep it short and easy.
Yvonne Reid, a counselor at Wiregrass Hope Group, has led many successful small groups. Here are some tools she uses for a smooth opening:
Icebreakers! Icebreakers can be awkward but they go a long way in creating laughter and connection during your first meeting. Possible suggestions:
- If you were a food, what kind would you be and why? OR
- If you were a flower, what kind would you be and why?
Yvonne also offers some small group expectations:
- Ask group members to PRAY for the group.
- DO the assigned homework – the facilitator could consider emailing or texting group members homework information either at the onset of the group or weekly.
- Show up PREPARED each week except for illness or travel. Ask group members to let facilitator know if they are going to be absent.
- Group members should remember to be CONFIDENTIAL with what is shared in small group.
If you are starting a group for Calm My Anxious Heart, please let us know by clicking the button below. We are cheering for you!