Tips for Crafting Group Purpose

Last year I came upon the work of Priya Parker. She is trained in conflict resolution, works as a facilitator helping groups create meaningful gatherings, and she wrote the book The Art of Gathering. She argues that there are so many good reasons for gathering together that often we don't know exactly why we are gathering. The lack of clearly stated purpose for our gathering leads us to fall back on faulty assumptions, old habits, and out of date practices.

I'm not saying this ever happens in your group. I'll just speak for myself. Sometimes, I leave CoreGroup uninspired, annoyed, and over it. Our time together has the potential to challenge our ways of thinking, draw us closer in relationships, and transform our lives. So why does it feel like such a chore sometimes?...again, just speaking for myself. Priya Parker would say (and I would have to agree) that it is because we lack a clearly stated purpose.

Our groups' name, description, and purpose all contribute to helping the right people find your group and give voice to the unique community you are creating. They can help set you up for success over the long haul.

What is your purpose? Why does your specific CoreGroup exist?

How would you describe your group? What makes your group unique? Or, how do you hope others will talk about this group?

What is your group name? How did this particular collection of individuals come together?

Spend some time thinking about these questions and write out answers for your group.  Two resources to help and inspire you.

  • Romans 12:9-21 includes a beautiful picture of life in community. Many of the short, simple commands could be lifted from scripture and placed directly into your group purpose or description. I'm pretty sure God won't be mad about plagiarism. 
  • The Art of Gathering includes some strategies for helping you move from the what to the why of your group.
    • Zoom out - Think beyond the weekly meeting. Move your mind from details to the big picture purpose for the group.
    • Drill, baby, drill - Take the reasons you are gathering and keep drilling below them. Ask why you're doing it. Every time you get another, deeper, reason, ask why again. Keep asking why until you have hit a belief or value.
    • Ask not what your country can do for your gathering, but what your gathering can do for your country - Think about what larger needs in the world your group might address. What problem might you help solve?
    • Reverse engineer an outcome - Think of what you want to be different because you gathered, and work backward from that outcome. You are proposing to consume people's most precious resource: time. Making an effort to consider how you want your guests, and yourself, to be altered by the experience is what you owe people as a good steward of that resource. 

Once you have settled on a name, description, and purpose for your group you might want those to become a part of your group's public profile (especially if you are open to new members). You can update your details using this form

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