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  • 1. GROUP DYNAMICS AND COMMUNITY BUILDING Dynamic Youth Ministry Starr King School for the Ministry Fall 2010
  • 2. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING  Bonding  Opening Up  Affirming  Stretching  Deeper Sharing
  • 3. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING  Model developed by Denny Rydberg  There are many models of group building. This one has been used successfully for many years in Unitarian Universalist youth settings.  Help develop intimacy and trust.  A group does not necessarily move in a linear fashion through the five stages. They are more like phases a group goes through, rather than sequential steps or stages. When new members join a group, the group must go through bonding, opening up, etc. all over again.
  • 4. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING Bonding – group members get to know each other, engage in emotionally low-risk activities Reflecting on a group you have been part of: what are some ways the group members have bonded?  Opening Up  Affirming  Stretching  Deeper Sharing
  • 5. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING  Bonding Opening Up – group members share a little more deeply about opinions, concerns, hopes and dreams Reflecting on a group you have been part of: how has this group moved from bonding to opening up? What activities or dynamics facilitated this?  Affirming  Stretching  Deeper Sharing
  • 6. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING  Bonding  Opening Up Affirming – group members respond to one another in positive ways, reinforcing the connections they are building Reflecting on a group you have been part of: how have you affirmed others and felt affirmed by them?  Stretching  Deeper Sharing
  • 7. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING  Bonding  Opening Up  Affirming Stretching – planned (e.g. ropes course) or unplanned (e.g. group member is ill); a challenging experience for groups that have not gone through bonding/opening up/affirming Reflecting on a group you have been part of: what planned or unplanned stretching experiences have you had as a group, and how has the group handled them?  Deeper Sharing
  • 8. FIVE STAGES OF COMMUNITY BUILDING  Bonding  Opening Up  Affirming  Stretching Deeper Sharing – sharing deeper thoughts and feelings in a trusting group environment; taking risks Reflection Questions: When have you felt trusting enough in community to get to the point of deeper sharing? What dynamics of the group made this possible? What was the outcome?
  • 9. COVENANTS  Covenant = group agreement or ground rules  A covenant is one way of promoting trust and community  It is a statement of how the group wants to be with one another.  Created for the group by the group – the group empowers its members to draw one another back to the covenant when dynamics become problematic
  • 10. YOUTH GROUP STRUCTURES AND STYLES Advisor Led Group Led Youth-Adult Elected Leaders Committee
  • 11. YOUTH GROUP STRUCTURES AND STYLES  Social  Structured  Curriculum-Based  The way the group is structured has an impact on how it builds community, what dynamics play out, and how dynamics are addressed. Reflection Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the structures/styles for building community in the group?
  • 12. SAFETY  Adults play an important role in creating safety in youth ministry.  The material in the assigned reading on ―Creating a Safe Group‖ will be addressed in greater depth in Week 12 of the course, but we gave it to you this week because we believe it is important for adults in youth ministry to reflect on their role and power as it relates to group dynamics.
  • 13. We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half- envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free. (Starhawk, Building Community: Processes for Groups)
  • 14. POWER DYNAMICS IN COMMUNITY Starhawk has written about different forms of power:  Power over  Power within  Power with We can also add… POWER IN COMMUNITY Power comes from having experience, knowledge, resources; from being in a dominant or privileged racial/gender/age group; from confidence in one’s self; from being part of a community of collective power.
  • 15. POWER DYNAMICS IN COMMUNITY  This week, one of your assigned readings was ―Tools for Observing Group Dynamics.‖  It can be helpful and eye-opening to observe and document the dynamics at play in a group, and for the group to reflect on how it can sustain or improve the way it works and shares power. Reflection Question: How could you use these tools for observing group dynamics in a group you are part of?
  • 16. Move on to… Readings: Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles Presentation: Engaging Different Learning Styles