Module 8: Leader's Notes
Basic Guidance
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.What is Modulo?
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Welcome to Modulo – a series of modules designed to help us get to know God and Christianity. Each Module has several parts numbered /1, /2 etc, with questions to help us relate it to our own life today. Each Module also has an Introduction numbered /0. Bible references are given throughout – we suggest you may like to look-up some of them as you come across them to give authority to the material presented.

This Module 8 is intended just for leaders who would like advice on creating and running your own meeting. (Return to top)
Picture, Group Gathering
.Getting Started
You could do Modulo on your own, but we suggest you'll find it better in a small group. That might be a traditional group with a Minister as the leader, or you could invite some friends to come for a meal and try it out for yourself. Personal invites to individuals work best, either face-to-face, in writing, or by email/social media.

Where you meet is up to you to suit your tastes and life-style. In earlier years it was fashionable for people to follow the trend. Today, life is far more relaxed with different styles of dress, food and entertainment all happening at the same time - personal choice is no longer thought peculiar.

The church now recognises this. It used to offer one style of church Service and one group, at one time, on one day - a set style of Service on a Sunday with a group on a weekday. Church Services are changing… and so are groups, the suggestion now is that you meet when and where it suits you, eg: in someone's home, a hall, a cafe or pub, always the same one or a different one each time, in a church, or even on the internet! Anywhere, any day, and any time that suits you. (Return to top)
  • A small group works best, 4-8 people: more than 12 is probably too large.

  • You could meet as a larger group, but then divide up into smaller groups to discuss the detail and come back together to share the results of your discussions.

  • Don't choose a noisy place where it's hard to hear and join in. A cafe or pub is OK if it's not too noisy. Meet as often as it suits you, but try to avoid a long gap. Once a week is ideal, once or twice a month is OK but if longer you may lose track of what's been discussed.
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Picture, Group Meal
.How Should We Do It?
Again that's up to you. You may like to have a traditional meeting starting with tea, coffee or wine then read through a Module's hand-out material before discussing it together as a group. Or you may prefer to have a meal, snack or drink together and go through the given material in a less formal way - whatever suits.

If you don't have a Minister in your group that's OK, but you need to keep in touch with a trained co-ordinator to check your discussions from time to time to ensure you're still on the right track. You could do that outside of your meeting or at occasional joint meetings with any other group in your area. (Return to top)
  • Each Module has several sub-modules, the first is always numbered 0 (eg: Module 1/0, Module 2/0 etc) which introduces that topic and provides an index to its parts.

    A 'Prayer Sheet' is included in Module 1/3 and provides a sample opening and closing prayer that will be updated as other Modules are added.

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Picture, Group Gathered
. Creating a Group
  • If you've been asked to lead a Group, it may be left to you to ask friends, neighbours or members of your church or organisation to join you. Don't worry about getting a large number, 2-4 is OK, 6-8 is ideal, but 10-12 is usually the max.

  • If you've been asked to lead a small sub-group as part of a bigger meeting, the members may be allocated to you, or they may choose to come to your group at the meeting.

  • If you found 'Modulo' yourself, you'll have to decide whether to do it on your own or to invite others as described above. (Return to top)
  • Don't worry if some can't make it to every meeting; agree a compromise date and brief any missing person(s) later.

  • If a Minister asked you to be the leader, ask them or another trained person to act as your 'co-ordinator'.
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Picture, A Small Group
.The Meetings
You'll need to decide where you're going to meet, when, and how often. That might be decided by you, by the person who asked you to be the leader, or by your members together.

Where you're going to meet - will that be in someone's home, the local hall or church, a cafe, a restaurant, a pub, or even on the internet? Always the same place or move around?

What format will you're meetings take - will you have a meal or snack before, after or during the meeting? Just drinks? (alcoholic or not?). We recommend you at least have tea/coffee and biscuits - but beware of members trying to outdo each other on what they provide if they take turns in providing it.

At the first meeting, if everyone already knows each other you may feel it's unnecessary to ask them to introduce themselves, although this can still be helpful, but if there's even one person present who doesn't know the others, get everyone to give their name and brief interests. It may be necessary to do that again if someone else joins your group later.

Throughout the meeting, be sympathetic to those who find it hard to hear or who work at different speeds. How you use the notes is up to you. You may like to read through all the notes first, then develop a discussion, or you may prefer to read and discuss the different ideas as you go through it.

If you need them, sample questions have been provided to help you get a discussion going. How deep you go is up to your group, not everyone may want to go to the same depth. If you want it, a separate sheet is provided with typical answers, which we suggest you only hand-out to your members after they've offered their own answers, so everyone gets a chance to develop their own thoughts.

If the group gets too big, be prepared to split into two smaller groups. In that case, you may need to find another facilitator for the new group. (Return to top)
  • How long will the meeting be? We suggest you decide a time-limit and keep to it. An hour to an hour-and-a-half is usually suitable. Stopping short is OK if you're done.

  • If you're the leader, beware of the over-talkative and conversely the shy. Try to ensure everyone gets a chance to have their say without being unfairly interrupted - and don't keep interrupting yourself !

  • It may be appropriate sometimes for others to join your group, but beware that groups develop their own 'dynamic' and a change may temporarily disrupt it.

  • The trained co-ordinator giving oversight needn't be a member of your group but in that case, do consult with them from time to time outside of the meeting to check you're still on the right track.

    Remember to enjoy it!

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.Content and Presentation
Each Module generally has factual information on the left and (hopefully) helpful comments on the right. You need to find out how formal or informal your group wants to be. Do they prefer everyone to read it for themselves or have someone to read it out aloud?

Do you want to hand-out paper sheets, have it on-line, or project it on a screen? It's good if people can take notes away with them. You'll need to decide how much to include in any one meeting. You may like to limit it to one Module per session or, if you're quick, you may like to do more than one Module in a session; eg: you might do all the Modules that cover one Bible book for instance. (Return to top)
  • It's better if you use the words as printed as they've been carefully selected to make a joined-up presentation, but that may be too formal for your group.

  • You may prefer to do different Modules in different ways.
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Picture, Group of People
.Running a Successful Meeting
Several things can affect the success of your meeting, some are obvious and some less so; the best advice is to enjoy it! Who is present can make a difference. If you've invited your own like-minded friends, then it may be easier, but if you've been given a mix of people then you need to be more conscious of their preferences, it may be good to ask before you start but don't labour the point to embarrassment - a bored or an over-stretched person can have an adverse effect on others. Don't force your own ideas on people, and watch that others aren't doing it either. Everyone is entitled to their own view. (Return to top)
  • Clearly the environment is important. Some may like it more or less formal, hotter or cooler than others, try to find a happy compromise.

  • Don't necessarily expect older people to be happy to sit on bean bags or on the floor, or for young people to sit on chairs in a row!
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Begin each meeting with words of welcome and a few minutes of prayer. Try to develop your group's ability to pray by encouraging different people to lead the prayers, adding their own words referring to current events or local concerns, but don't force any one. You may like to ask too if anyone's had a prayer answered.

You could also pause to pray for God's guidance during a Module if you're unclear or if a disagreement arises, and it's good to finish with prayer too - you may want to include thanks for what you've learnt, but in any case end each meeting with the 'Grace'.

Module 7 provides a 'Simple Guide to Prayer' 'to help you develop ways of praying on your own, plus a sample prayer for the start of each Module and a prayer at the end. (Return to top)
  • It used to be the custom for people to say the 'Grace' formally with everyone's eyes closed and head bowed, but now it's quite common for everyone to say it together whilst looking at each other around the group - literally 'Sharing the Grace.'
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Clip Art, Q and A
.What Do You Think?
Each Module contains basic questions to get a discussion going. It would be good if, in addition to these basic points, your group wants to develop its own discussion and questions too.

You don't need to use all of the questions provided, but do encourage people to express their own concerns and opinions so they can explore their own belief and understanding. (Return to top)
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Leaders Notes
Advanced Guidance
Don't worry about trying to come to terms with what follows if you find it all too much, it's provided as information for the personality types who like that sort of thing! It's sufficient to understand that people are different for a reason, so don't get impatient with them. (Return to top)
  • Just be aware of what's going on in your meeting and try to help people to be patient with others who like to do it differently.
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.Personality Types
A big factor that will make a group work well or poorly can be personality clashes. You're probably aware that everyone's different, but in what way; and what effect might that have on your meeting? It's been scientifically analysed with remarkable accuracy, which is now recognised by even the most sceptical.

We all have some of each type shown below. Types are grouped together in pairs, but usually one type from each pair will 'dominate' or be preferred.

Recharging Energy – Interacting With Others:
Extrovert (E): Prefers somewhere noisy, possibly a party, or a disco, etc. Can act or speak first and think after.
(Not slow at coming forward so can dominate a meeting).

Introvert (I): Prefers somewhere quiet, alone, or familiar group.
(In a meeting can seem shy or reluctant to speak, especially at the beginning).

Information Gathering:
Sensing (S): Prefers information that can be verified by the five senses or thinking, and distrusts 'hunches' or 'feeling'.
(May frustrate N types by wanting too much detail).

Intuition (N): (since I is already used) Trusts abstract or theoretical data. Meaning found in underlying info so facts not so essential.
(Can get frustrated with those wanting more detail before moving on).

Decision Making:
Thinking (T): Decides from a detached standpoint, after considering the facts or information. Considers truth of first importance, so can seem blunt or uncaring by other types.
(Can seem slow to come to a decision if not enough facts presented).

Feeling (F): Decides by associating or empathising with a situation, looks for consensus & 'best fit', not necessarily 'proof'.
(Can be easily upset by Thinking types making a statement that's factually correct, but without their having considered its effect on others).

Judging (J): Prefers a more structured or planned approach.
(Can insist on pursuing or making a point others types not so interested in).

Perceiving (P): Prefers a more flexible and adaptive approach.
(Can frustrate other types by making a point without an 'obvious' connection).
  • One of the most popular systems is the ‘Myers-Briggs Type Indicator’ named after its originator Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isobel Briggs Myers.

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator recognises four factors combined in sixteen different ways:
  • ISTJ    ISTP,   INTJ,   INTP
  • ISFJ,   ISFP,   INFJ,    INFP

  • Some people can even prefer a different approach for different things, eg: when taking in information they might act as an 'Introvert' but when making decisions they act as an 'Extravert'.
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.Learning Styles
Another big factor affecting the success or otherwise of a meeting is the way people like to receive and process information. Three main types dominate:

Visual: likes pictures, either on paper or screen, or 'verbal' by graphically describing a scene to create a 'picture' in the mind.

Auditory: likes words to hear (or read) so prefers material read aloud, perhaps with hand-out notes.

Kinaesthetic: likes to do things and get involved, eg: reading aloud in the group, or doing a role play.

Don't get hung-up over all this; you should be able to sense if things are going well or not. (Return to top)
  • Problems caused by these categories have been misunderstood in the past, eg: an inattentive person can be due to using the wrong learning style, rather than a lack of intelligence.

  • Including a bit of each is good so all can get involved. Some will strongly dislike some styles, eg: role play - so don’t force it on them.
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