Prepare to Meet


Are you considering signing up for or preparing for one of our spiritual growth groups? Here are a few things to consider.

Are these groups “therapeutic”?

Yes and no. Our spiritual growth groups are often transformative activities including inspiration, motivation, and application of spiritual principles to daily life. In that sense many people find them very therapeutic, even life-changing. However, the spiritual growth group experience is not designed or led as a substitute for group counseling or group therapy under the guidance of a credentialed professional. 

Where do groups meet?

The location of each group varies. Some groups meet in homes, others in churches or in public spaces. These days, meeting online via Zoom or some other app is popular, or combining in-person and online in a hybrid format. When you choose a group and email the group leader your intentions to join, you will be given the specifics of the location. If the group is meeting online via Zoom, you will be emailed the Zoom link.

Do I need to be affiliated with a certain church or religion to attend a small group?

No. We are a not-for-profit foundation formed to support people in transforming their spiritual lives. All are welcome into spiritual community. For more details on the theological and psychological background of the spiritual growth program, see elsewhere on this site and in the published books: “The Joy of Spiritual Growth” and “The Joy of Spiritual Living.”  

Do I need to bring anything to group?

No, however we encourage each participant to keep a personal journal so you can observe your own progress over the course of the group.

We do offer, for purchase, our Choose Joy deck of cards and two books to enhance your experience and be a helpful reminder of the weekly tasks you are working on or to start your own group.

Sometimes people bring refreshments to some of the in-person groups especially if there is a planned social time afterwards; however there is no obligation to bring something. If you do want to bring something to share, please speak with your group leader or discuss with the group members to find out what is appropriate.

Is there a cost associated with attending group?

No. These groups are free. However, if you want to make it possible for us to help more people transform their spiritual lives, feel free to donate. Every dollar makes a difference.

What can I expect when I attend my first group?

Please arrive a few minutes early to get comfortable and settle in.

Groups are relaxed and positive and follow a simple group structure to allow for optimal listening and sharing.

Group structure:

  • Check in: Who are you and how are you? (share your name and a brief summary of what’s currently going on for you; helps build a sense of compassion and community)
  • Meditation or prayer (encourages centering and being in the moment)
  • Share whatever brief “gem of wisdom” you thought of, read, or picked up since last session (optional source of inspiration)
  • Report on your experience of working the assigned task (the main item of the meeting; plan plenty of time for this)
  • Learn about the new task and discuss (time for education, inspiration, and motivation)
  • Closing thoughts (important time of closure; don’t skip this!)

Bonus: Some groups have social time afterwards with refreshments if appropriate.

To create a safe environment for sharing during group we follow these group guidelines:

  1. We do not give advice.
  2. We do not interrupt.
  3. We do not engage in cross talk.
  4. We share; we do not preach.
  5. We have the option to pass.
  6. We understand that there are no failures, only opportunities.
  7. We do not identify individuals when sharing our experiences.
  8. We keep confidential all experiences shared within the group.
  9. We start and end meetings promptly
  10. We do not smoke, eat, or drink (except water) during meetings.

You are encouraged to share freely, and your freedom to “pass” is respected without judgment. We encourage personal safety. It is perfectly fine to attend your first few groups to listen and learn from the experience.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, bringing along a friend or acquaintance can help make the experience more enjoyable. However please have the additional group member sign up on the website so that the group leader is aware of who is coming and can give necessary details to each participant.

How many weeks do groups run?

This varies by group. Some groups last for 6-12 weeks for a series or specific topic. Other groups are ongoing and do not have a specific end-time. Some groups may take breaks, switch topics and resume again. Your group leader can explain more about their group trajectory. However, feel free to come and try out a group for a couple weeks and see if this is the right fit for you, and feel free to take breaks from group when needed or try a different group. Our hope is that whatever group you attend you feel a sense of community and joy!