So you’re bound for a Redemption Group Immersion and you’d like to know how to get ready? Here are a couple of essential steps to take before arriving, and a few more optional ones.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would prepare you for an intense time of deep personal work. Seriously. The typical audience for a Redemption Group Immersion is comprised of church leaders, which probably includes you. The problem is: church leaders have a tendency to assume “I already get this stuff for myself—I’m only here to learn how to help others.” But the Immersion will not be a time for you to merely “learn the tools”. Yes, you will learn some tools, but that will happen primarily by letting the Spirit do a work on you through the group process. So, do not come merely expecting to observe; there are no seats for mere observers, only active participants. Expect to be surprised, challenged, consoled, confronted and changed. Pray that the Spirit would prepare you for what he alone can do.
- Read the Redemption book. The teaching and group sessions at the Immersion will follow the content of the Redemption book chapter-by-chapter. However, neither the teachings nor the group discussions will cover every concept in the book. Therefore, to get the most out of the process, you’ll need to have engaged with the book beforehand. Since the Immersion will go so quickly from one session to the next—and since you’ll be given at least one writing assignment to complete in the midst of all that—don’t plan on having much time to read during the Immersion. Read ahead. The whole thing, if at all possible.
- Prayerfully consider what ten minutes of your life story you will share in your group. You’ll be sharing this with your group within the first two or three group sessions. For some suggestions on what to consider sharing, watch this video.
- Pray through Redemption Daily Prayer for each chapter of the Redemption book once or twice.
- Listen to some “Walk With” episodes of our podcast, Redemption Walk. The storytelling and conversation bears some similarity to the kind of stories we tell and conversations we might have in a group. This show is definitely not a group, of course, but it can help you to imagine what sorts of stories you might hear told by others in your group, what kinds of stories you are invited to tell, and what kind of helpful conversation might develop around those stories.
- Respond to some of the reflection questions at the end of each chapter of Redemption. Your group will not be a “homework review” session where participants recite their responses to these questions, but trying to answer some of these questions ahead of time will help you get more out of the whole experience.