Spiritual Growth Activities: Finding or Starting a Study Group
Finding a Local Group
If you live in the United States, contact our Customer Service Department by phone at 800-333-4499 (Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm EST) or by e-mail at email@example.com. A representative will help locate a group near you or connect you with your regional coordinator.
If you live outside the United States, check the International Contacts List for the center or contact person closest to you.
A.R.E. eGroups meet on an Internet discussion board that has been created especially for A.R.E. In Internet terms, your eGroup is called a "discussion board", a virtual meeting room where you will join with other like-minded people and your mentor, David McMillin, in an interactive discussion on A Search for God.
There is also a very active network of e-mail Study Groups, which operate via private e- mail. Members don't converse in real-time, but read and respond to the group's messages at a time of their own choosing.
For more information on either of these options, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start a Study Group
Sponsoring a group is an exciting opportunity. If you are new to group work, it may be helpful for you to visit a group nearby to become familiar with both the material and the group process. If you have a local group of friends interested in starting a group, you can request a Starter Kit with instructions and resources. The A.R.E.'s Spiritual Growth Group Department and/or your regional coordinator can assist in getting the word out to local A.R.E. members. You can also post notices in local newspapers and on social media sites.
Set a day, time, and location for your initial meeting. Most groups meet in private homes, however, public meeting places can also be used. Many libraries, churches, and banks make rooms available without charge. The recommended size of a study group is from 2 to 12 people. If your initial response to a new group announcement is larger than anticipated, remember that initial participation in a group can be misleading. Group size fluctuates during the first several meetings until a core group emerges. If a larger group of people continue to show interest, the opportunity to form a second group may present itself.
After a core group has emerged, we ask that you complete and return a Group Affiliation form . Affiliating the group allows us to connect your group with the mainstream of all group activity. As new seekers come to us looking for a group in your area, we can refer them to you.