We talk a lot about how a safe environment paves the way to community. It's essential for building connection. But what does it mean for an environment to be safe?
People who don't feel safe shut themselves off from what the Holy Spirit might do in their lives through the group. In a safe environment, there are no obstacles and distractions to get in the way of the Spirit's work. A safe environment is irresistible. We all crave acceptance and naturally gravitate towards the people and places where we feel it. And safe environments are full of acceptance.
You have an opportunity to create an environment in your group that makes it a brightly lit place in a dark and often unsafe world. Imagine if your group was a place where your group members could:
- Let down their guard
- Feel free to talk about what's going on in their lives without fear of judgment or criticism
- Be vulnerable
- Feel valued and accepted
That kind of environment nurtures the sort of tight community that leads to spiritual growth.
In my next post, I'll talk about some things you can do to set things right when your group has become an unsafe environment. Check back later this week.