11. Guidelines for Leaders
We recommend leaders prepare one week in advance. It is essential to reflect on the Gospel passage several days in advance — no matter how familiar it is! Prepare an introduction even if only a sentence or two (our weekly readings in section 3 will provide some examples).
1. We recommend leaders commence with an opening prayer that groups (individuals) may find personal stillness or quiet rest during your time together.
2. If there are newcomers it would help them if the leader gave a short instruction about the sequence of stages during your group reflection.
They may appreciate a copy of our two leaflets:
3. We suggest the following minimal introduction. Our paper: "The Seven R's" could be discussed in a separate session.
4. When it is time to start Lectio, read chosen passage aloud and then re-read silently (reverse order if preferred).
5. Choose an appropriate approach and lead the group through the text:
Adhere (strictly) to the rule 'Do not cross reference other scripture' unless it is an integral part of what Jesus is saying or meaning. This prevents inappropriate displays of scripture knowledge. It also maintains the focus and avoids the distraction of thoughts 'zapping' all over the place. It will help the group to maintain focus on the text, that is, focus on the Word.
Some Further Suggestions
Do not make the fatal mistake modern church liturgy reformers have made, thinking everyone must participate or be involved in the same way. In any group but particularly in prayer focused groups, there will be several levels of involvement. Sometimes the quietest may make the most critical contribution whether by presence alone or a gesture at a key moment, or asking a pertinent question which takes the group discussion to a new level... or whatever.
Please remember this is a group 'oral meditation', not a Bible Study. Leaders who feel compelled to display their advanced knowledge should look to other gatherings.
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