Spiritual Growth - Study Groups
What is the purpose of an A.R.E. Study Group and what are they like?
An A.R.E. Study Group focuses on helping us to relate more fully to God and humanity, as well as live more abundantly by encouraging us to extend love and service to others. This is
accomplished by studying and discussing spiritual material each week within the group, then setting a "discipline" or homework assignment where you have the opportunity to put these spiritual truths into practice. Once your "homework " assignment is chosen for the next week you meditate on the spiritual truth and the discipline that you have chosen. You then share your experiences with your homework efforts at the next group meeting, reflecting on how your attempts to put the spiritual principles into practice gave you a different perspective and/or helped you in your spiritual growth.
What is the benefit of a study group?
Unlike a book study group, the benefit of an A.R.E. Sprititual Growth Group is that you actually make attempts in between each meeting, via the "disciplines", to put the spiritual concepts that you learn about into practice and this is where the true growth and benefits come from. These disciplines/homework assignments are what differentiate an A.R.E. Study Group from a standard spiritual study group and are often people's favorite part of the group because it is where you truly start to see positive changes in your life.
Meditation is also a part of each Study Group meeting and members find that is is developed more powerfully in a group. This results in one's personal meditation practice becoming strengthened and advanced.
The group helps members to talk openly, but not to talk so much that they deprive others of an opportunity as well. The materials and support made available by the A.R.E. help members learn how to take turns speaking, facilitate the conversation and honor each other's opinions. Members become more concerned with the whole group – not just with themselves.