Small Group Guidelines

CONFIDENTIALITY

What is said in the group stays in the group, except as shared with Q Christian Staff members for purposes of managing the groups and ensuring that these guidelines are followed. The identities and personal information of participants are not to be shared publicly or privately, in person or electronically, with anyone outside of the group other than Q Christian staff members. The safety of those who may not be publicly out of the closet is our utmost priority. Participants are not required to reveal their real name or use their video chat function if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Leaders or participants who compromise the identity of other participants may be asked to leave the small group. 

SAFETY

If someone in the group is experiencing suicidal ideation or thoughts of self harm, leaders are required to immediately direct them to Crisis Resources and notify a Q Christian staff member. Q Christian will attempt to help direct the individual to available resources and/or mental health professionals in their area. 

CREATING A SAFE SPACE

The following will not be tolerated in Q Christian small groups: 

  • Racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, religious intolerance, ageism, and all other forms of discrimination

  • Physical, verbal, mental or any other form of abuse towards a participant or leader 

  • Sexual harassment, inappropriate/unwelcome comments and behaviors

  • Disruptive or disrespectful behavior that derails conversation in the small group  

  • Misgendering- Participants and leaders will respect the names and pronouns of other participants and leaders 

  • Informal counseling or unsolicited advice by those not professionally trained to provide mental health or pastoral care

DISRESPECTING THE BELIEFS/CONVICTIONS OF OTHERS:

Participants must honor the mission, vision and values of Q Christian Fellowship.  Q Christian Fellowship is comprised of a diverse population with sometimes vastly different cultural backgrounds, identities, political affiliations, and theology. Leaders or participants who attack the beliefs and convictions of other participants in a disrespectful manner may be asked to leave the group.  All leaders have signed Volunteer Guidelines on creating safe space within Q Christian Fellowship groups and events. All participants must agree to the guidelines stated here.

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN LEADERS AND PARTICIPANTS

Due to the power dynamics between leaders and participants, leader/participant relationships, unless preexisting, are not allowed during the course of the small group. Leaders will not reach out to participants in a romantic or sexually suggestive manner, (explicitly or implicitly), in person or through electronic means. If a leader has done so, participants should contact a Q Christian staff member immediately. Participants similarly are not allowed to reach out to leaders in a romantic or sexually suggestive manner, (explicitly or implicitly), in person or through electronic means. 

LISTENING

Value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. Try to avoid thinking about how you are going to respond, or what you are going to say next. Restate what is said by others before responding. An example would be, “What I heard you say is…” 

“FIXING” OR RESCUING

Give encouragement and provide spiritual and emotional support. Do not offer unsolicited advice or attempt to “fix” others or their current circumstances. Be aware that responses such as “Everything happens for a reason” or “God is in control” may not be encouraging for those who have suffered depression, trauma or who have had to deconstruct/reconstruct their faith.

CONFLICT

Resolve conflict with grace and compassion. If a conflict continues without resolution, leaders or participants may ask a Q Christian staff member for help facilitating a conversation or determining the best course of action.

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