At Purposely, we foster healthy, loving peer groups that cultivate the purpose-grounded life. Healthy groups help us to step back to reflect on the big picture of our lives, engage in re-creation and renewal, and move forward in new ways.

The peer group is a gathering of friends who come together around common needs and shared goals. Peer groups help us to step back from our solo, isolated ways of doing things and truly work with others so that the change and growth that we need to experience isn’t painful but loving.

When we work with others in a healthy group process, we carve out intentional space so that we can step back from the busyness and the constant striving to see the big picture. Working with others gives us the space to refocus, energy for true re-creation, and the grace to experience transformative renewal. While it is ultimately up to us to find our own paths, we do not have to go it alone. Through working together in a carefully crafted peer group process, we facilitate a culture for adaptive change where new pathways can emerge.

We are wired to be social creatures, next to people, around people, with people. We are meant to live our lives with others. The problem is that we don’t always know how to do that, how to work with others, how to listen, how to let others help us along. We don't really know how to build the kind of healthy group experience that is truly meaningful and helpful. It certainly doesn’t happen just because we stick people in a room together.

We've all had bad experiences in peer groups, especially those horrible ones with classmates where no one wants to do anything and one person winds up doing all the work. These kinds of ad hoc groups are rarely effective. Intentional groups, though, that come together around mutual needs and shared goals have the chance of becoming truly transformational.

Our organization has been facilitating an effective, intentional peer group process for more than twenty years. We've learned a lot about what makes peer groups effective, and we want to help you experience all that it means to be able to craft an effective peer group.

An effective peer group:

  • is built on trust
  • is unique and tailored specifically to you
  • creates a culture that facilitates change
  • is a group of friends to walk with you on the journey
  • lifts up the importance of sticking with it through difficult times
  • protects and guards its time, emphasizing the importance of participation and attendance
  • is process oriented, not task oriented 
  • strives for excellence and asks for high buy-in from its members
  • builds genuine connections with one another
  • becomes more than the sum of its individual parts

PEER GROUP PROCESS

A peer group is made up of roughly six people who come together around common needs and shared goals. There is nothing more vital to our success than healthy, authentic groups working in a covenant relationship to help one another along.

Our peer groups operate in a process of self-selection, self-direction, self-reflection, and self-accountability:

SELF-SELECTION

Groups form organically through individual buy-in. Though at times chaotic and messy, we don't interrupt the process by assigning individuals to groups.

SELF-DIRECTION

With the help of their Guide, groups identify their own learning goals and design a learning path forward.

SELF-REFLECTION

In a dialogical interplay between shared experiences and group reflection, individuals are offered opportunities to engage in deep, meaningful self-reflection.

SELF-ACCOUNTABILITY

In loving rather than punitive ways, groups help to hold one another accountable for the things that they identified that they wanted to work on. Positive accountability is effective when everyone know that they're in it together.

Values

We challenge groups to identify, reflect on, and commit to their own group values such as:

Commitment
We personally commit to achieving group goals

Courage
We do the right thing and work on tough problems.

Focus
We concentrate on the group's path ahead.

Openness
We are open about all the work and the challenges the group encounters.

Respect
We respect each other to be capable and independent.

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