Counseling in Community™ is a skill-oriented experiential training where participants will learn or strengthen biblical counseling skills through a group lab experience.
How do participants benefit from the course?
- Growth in relationship with God. While this course does not involve the full scope of personal work that a Redemption Group provides, participants do tend have spiritual growth experiences through this process.
- Growth in relational and ministry skills.
Who benefits from Counseling in Community?
- Redemption Group leader trainees: this is a great way to jumpstart the development of new group leaders.
- Experienced Redemption Group leaders: because it is a real-life exercise, no two experiences are the same. We can always learn more by practicing and reflecting on our experiences! Practice makes perfect!
- Small group leaders: ministry leaders in all areas of the church benefit from the personal transformation and skill development that comes from this training, even if they have no intent to develop as Redemption Group leaders. This is a way of sharing a training experience across Redemption Group leadership and small group leadership teams, helping to build a consistent culture of care church-wide.
- Everyone else: we all benefit from learning how to relate to one another in ways that reflects God’s grace, compassion and wisdom.
How Can You Experience Counseling in Community
- Join a training event. Come to one of the trainings that are hosted by our partner churches from time to time. Our events page shows upcoming events, or join us as a Friend of Redemption Groups to find out when new opportunities become available.
- Host a training event. Invite us to come and run a Counseling in Community Intensive at your ministry site. These normally involve 4–6 sessions over two full days. Email us for an estimate.
- Remote via videoconference. You gather your team at your site. We show up via videoconference to provide the skill instruction, devotional, and lab facilitation. Your course participants experience a live lab experience with one another—only the lab facilitator is remote. Capacity for these trainings is reduced to twelve participants per lab. Email us for an estimate.
Here’s an audio-visual presentation of an orientation session, recorded live from one of our events in January 2017.
What is the structure and process?
The following details are covered in the orientation teaching above and are given here in a text format for quick scanning.more...
Each session of the course has two or three parts: skill instruction, devotional, and lab.
(1) Skill Instruction: 30–40 minutes.
Teaching through a series of skills similar to those found in Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, like “enter the person’s world through entry gates.”
(2) Devotional: 5–7 minutes.
The devotional is intended to stir our hearts and consider where the Spirit may be at work in some area, prompted by a question that flows out of the devotional. This question is then taken into the lab session as the initial prompt question to start the discussion.
(3) Lab: 75–90 minutes.
The lab brings together and puts into action what students get from part one (skill instruction) and part two (devotional). The lab arrangement usually looks like the following diagram.
Participants in the inner circle (yellow pod) will discuss their response to the prompt question from the devotional, engaging in twenty to thirty minutes of group discussion, similar to how a Redemption Group would engage in dialogue.
While the yellow pod is engaged in this discussion in the inner circle, the green and blue pods seated in the outer circle observe the yellow pod’s interaction, paying close attention to general things like the pace of the conversation, the non-verbals or how well they work together. More specifically, those outer pods observe the interaction through the lens of whatever they would have learned during the skill instruction sessions. For example, if the skill instruction was about entry gates, they might consider: What entry gates became apparent? How did the group move toward the person who opened the entry gate? What was the effect of this movement (or perhaps lack of movement)?
At some point, the Lab Facilitator pauses the inner circle’s conversation and transitions the lab into a time of reflecting on the interaction. Everyone discusses what they observed, how it felt, and what they can learn from what went well and what could have gone better.
A single lab normally has two lab facilitators and up to twenty-four participants.
In each session, a different pod rotates into the inner circle.
The variety of reflections builds in each session as additional skill instruction sessions add new observation tasks.
Download a Sample Syllabus
A sample syllabus of this course is available for free download from the content library that is free for Friends of Redemption Groups. Join as a Friend to get access now.