Today we discussed the importance of transparency!
SESSION 4 - GROUP VIDEO
Watch 10-20 minutes of a GROUP video teaching, that correlates with the full Workshop semester topics.
GROUP CONVERSATION GUIDE
WHAT IS TRANSPARENCY?
What is transparency? Why do we fear being it?
- Transparency is a principle of relating, where you reveal your “inner self” and how you TRULY experience life.
- Transparency is a trust process, requiring an intentional decrease of opacity within a relationship or tribe of relationships, until finally vulnerabilities and fears are fully exposed, as well as your desires and dreams.
- Transparency is a privileged gift you give to others, yet you become the greatest beneficiary of such risk. This quality of openness implies a desire for safety and trust in relationships, even in the context of tribal disagreements over opinions, philosophies, AND even politics.
- Transparency means you can see through something, disclosing all the hidden parts. When a person is transparent they have moved beyond image management, to present the real Self.
Sometimes people confuse true transparency with hyper-transparency, or what could also be called “pseudo transparency.” Hyper-transparency is the illusion of transparency, a bold proclamation of transparency, while lacking the humility, trust and invitation into intimacy that true transparency describes.
PRIVACY VERSUS SECRECY
It is important for us to acknowledge that there is a difference between “secrecy” and “privacy.” Privacy is good and a healthy approach to relationships. Secrecy is not so healthy, as it galvanizes us from real relationships.
- PRIVACY - Privacy is vetting the safety of situations and differentiating which relationships are esteemed to move forward with. Privacy is necessary for healthy networks of relationships.
- SECRECY - Secrecy is instinctive strategy rooted in fear of being known. Secrecy is our compulsive desire that shrouds our shame, repressing painful memories, in ardent hope that it will never be exposed. Unfortunately, the decision to shroud and repress can only produce a void of real intimacy. Though not everybody should be privileged to know the real you, somebody should. For nobody to have access to the real you reflects your own brokenness, not the people that God has brought into your life.
GIVING THE DEVIL "PRAISE"????
Sometimes Christians will even hide behind Christian jargon, in hopes that their past can be shrouded. A statement like, “I don’t want to tell my story because I don’t want to give the Devil praise,” is just smoke screen for secrecy. It is the Devil’s deception to keep you in an intimacy insufficiency…and clearly driven by his fear.
If the Devil’s pain and influence leaves you hopeless, then it is giving him praise. But that assumes you have a faulty understanding of God’s goodness and miracle power to turn the worst pains around for His glory.
WHY DO WE FEAR TRANSPARENCY?
- We fear our painful story will confirm a shameful identity
- We fear being perceived as weak, in contrast to our tribe members, and then suffering powerlessness
- We fear losing control of life, love and relationships; though control is an illusion and not real.
- We fear other people’s disappointment in us will disrupt our own happiness
- We fear revisiting the pain of the past, and what it will do to dysregulate us today
- We fear letting other people down
- We fear the quality that attracted a person to you will no longer be a value, making you worthless to the tribe.
- We fear rejection from our tribe
TRANSPARENCY IS A PROCESS OF TRUST
Transparency is a healthy process anchored in trust. Feelings of hesitance, and even trepidation, around transparency is normal.
- Real transparency is a progression.
- Real transparency is a conversation; it may require some time to work through your own trust and anxiety issues.
- Real transparency is a series of choices. It is more than one choice. It requires sober and intentional decisions to move towards greater intimacy by exposing more and more of you, until the tribe, or someone in the tribe, knows it all.
THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF MEMOIR STORIES FOR THIS SEMESTER
Before I turn it over to your GROUP HOST, I want to share how the next several weeks will go in this first semester of your GROUP. We have designed the Group experience to be a year-long experience. Each semester is 10 weeks in length. There are 4 semesters in the Group year.
- The first semester correlates with The Science of Freedom full workshop.
- The second semester correlates with Redemption full workshop.
- The third semester correlates with The Authority of the Believer full workshop.
- And the final semester correlates with The Holy Spirit full workshop.
- Also, there may be a few weeks BETWEEN semesters with for cookouts, movies, community service projects and more.
In view of that, we have designed the Memoir Stories to be shared throughout the year. So tonight will be the last night of this semester we will focus on telling your stories. We will pick them back up in the first few weeks of the next semester, like we have done during the beginning of this semester.
So, not everyone will have time to share their Memoir Story in this first Semester, and there is no pressure to make that happen. Spend the rest of this evening telling more stories. Then next week come ready to talk about Freedom, and why we do what we do. We will have 6 weeks together talking through human behavior from a theological, psychological and neurobiological level.
Your Host will lead the Group in an icebreaker for everyone to share in. Then you will hear the Memoir Stories of those in your Group. Be prepared to share, using MY MEMOIR: PREPARING TO TELL MY STORY (Scope Timeline) worksheet to help you think through your story. You can download the SCOPE TIMELINE WORKSHEET at the link. There is a longer version of the worksheet, that gives an extra step to dig deeper into your story, which can be downloaded at LONG VERSION WORKSHEET (RECOMMENDED). You can also watch the WRAP UP video from last week that explains how to use the worksheet. Each person's Memoir should be 10-15 minutes long.
IMPORTANT: We would like to have 4 people share their stories, per night, for the next 3 nights. That only leaves time for 12 total stories. If you have more in your Group than 12, plan to add a 5th person's story per night, for the next 3 weeks. Also, help everyone stay in the 10-15 minute range for their stories, so everyone can participate with ease.
GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Take a few moments to discuss your answers to these questions with the Group.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
MY MEMOIR STORIES
Start with the Hosts (husband, wife), then if you have an Apprentice go next. Then open it up to the Group.
- It isn't necessary that a person follow the SCOPE TIMELINE WORKSHEET, but it will make it easier for people to follow a structure. There is a longer version of the worksheet, that gives an extra step to dig deeper into your story, which can be downloaded at LONG VERSION WORKSHEET (RECOMMENDED).
- The goal is to have each individual person share for 10-15 minutes of their life story (Memoir). As the Host try to stay tuned to each person's story and ask things like, "What was that like?" or "How did that make you feel?" or "What was the emotional power rating you would put on that event?"
- IMPORTANT: We would like to have 4 people share their stories, per night, for the next 3 nights. That only leaves time for 12 total stories. If you have more in your Group than 12, plan to add a 5th person's story per night, for the next 3 weeks. Also, help everyone stay in the 10-15 minute range for their stories, so everyone can participate with ease.
If the Group completes the MEMOIR STORIES, having heard from everyone signed up from the Group, or there is a minimal attendance in tonight's Group, feel free to use the following questions for conversation (of course the memoir stories have top priority). Use last week's questions below first (if you DIDN'T use them last week), then use this week's.
- Who was your best friend in childhood? What was it about that person that caused you to connect with him or her?
- In what ways do people present exaggerated images of themselves to the world? What harm can these exaggerations cause?
- Have you ever judged someone based on first impressions only to change your mind when you heard more of that person's story? What is it about hearing his or her story that changes your mind
- How did you feel about telling your story in this Group?
- If you struggled to be open and transparent about telling your story, what were your fears of how it might change your relationship with the people in this Group?
- What are some things that would make this Group safe enough for you to be open and transparent?
- Who are the top 3 people that have influenced you the most in life?
- What are your greatest successes? What obstacles did you overcome to acheive those successes?
- What are your greatest failures? What did you learn from those failures?
- In what ways has God influenced you in your relationships, successes and failures?
SESSION 4 - WRAP UP VIDEO #2
This is a 5-10 minute video for MOVING FORWARD, GOING DEEPER, use of worksheets and periodic church-wide announcements.
Receive the challenge to “MOVE FORWARD” by applying what was learned this week.
- Continue preparing to tell your story, your MEMOIR, to the rest of the Group over the next few weeks.
- Use the MY MEMOIR: PREPARING TO TELL MY STORY (Scope Timeline) worksheet to help you think through your story. You can download the SCOPE TIMELINE WORKSHEET. There is a longer version of the worksheet, that gives an extra step to dig deeper into your story, which can be downloaded at LONG VERSION WORKSHEET (RECOMMENDED).
To gain the maximum impact of the available content for the Group semester we encourage everyone to engage the FULL WORKSHOP SEMESTER experience. You can REGISTER HERE. While this is not required, nor will the Group conversation questions require deeper background from the WORKSHOP, it is an amazing and life-changing option for everyone.
Write down the prayer requests of those in your Group so you can be standing with them in faith for their answers. Also, be vulnerable about your requests, inviting the Group to walk with you through trials, challenges and desires. As the weeks ensue you will find much to celebrate together about in answered prayer.