Your Invitation to Be Secure
This is the second session of the Men’s Camp. After a brief introduction the campers were divided into groups of five. In true Aussie fashion the groups were named after Australian birds and animals, dingo, kookaburra, magpie, emu, platypus, kangaroo, koala and wombat. Each group was then provided with the following instructions.
We are going to take a few minutes to get acquainted. In order to do this we are going to ask ourselves several questions. The questions aren’t ‘loaded’. They simply provide a way for us to get to know each other in a short time.
The leader can get the ball rolling by reading out the first three questions and proceeding to answer them first. Then each person around the circle can respond to the questions.
(i) What is your name?
(ii) Where did you live between the ages of seven and twelve years?
(iii) What stands out most in your mind about the school you attended during that time?
Proceed to the next the next two questions.
(iv) How many brothers and sisters were in your family during the ages seven to twelve years?
(v) During your childhood, how was your home heated? Can you remember anything humorous about it?
The leader in telling how the home was heated should try to think of some humorous or vivid incident, perhaps a particularly cold morning, and the central heating didn’t work because of a power outage, getting up to fetch the wood or smoking out the house.
(vi) During that time where did you feel the centre of human warmth was? Was it a room or a person e.g. the kitchen, parents’ bedroom, dining room, etc? Or it may not have been a room at all; it may have been a person around who in retrospect you sensed a safeness or warmth.
After providing the group with the question the leader can explain that we are tracing the human experience of security. Security is first known by a child in terms of physical warmth. As our horizons broaden outside of our immediate selves our sense of security is found in the warmth and acceptance of the people around us. This may not be the experience for some. They simply cannot recall a centre of human warmth in their home or in any person.
Now allow each person to respond.
Direct this final question to the group as a whole so that people can volunteer answers if they have any. No one needs to feel compelled to answer.
(vii) When, if ever, in your life did God become more than ‘a word’? When did He become a living Being, alive in your own thinking?
This transition in one’s thinking may have taken place gradually, listening to a piece of music, watching a sunset or during a conversation with a friend.
The leader can close the conversation by summarising and pointing out that, according to Christian belief, although the experience of security and acceptance begins with physical warmth and graduates to human warmth, we are so made that our security is never complete until we find it in God.
If there is time the group may wish to spend some time in quiet prayer centred on the conversations that have occurred.
Ask the question of each person, “How can we pray specifically for you?”
Adapted from Mallison John, 1976, Keeping Group Life Vital, Renewal Publications, Sydney