The Benefits of Small Group Learning in Trauma Recovery
By Rahnella Adsit
Life is short. How sad is it when one lives it, feeling isolated and alone? Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, yet we often forget just how crucial they are. Many of the changes we desire in our lives can only happen in the context of relationships. REBOOT’s various courses create an environment where we can meet together to discover new ideas in class and learn from each other. It affords us a place to tell our stories and provide emotional support for one another. This environment greatly accelerates our growth and healing.
Showing up each week does require sacrifice and commitment. Every week you attend you may experience that inner-argument that says: “I should go tonight but …” Most of us who have attended a course and graduated would say this: if you dedicate yourself to attending regularly you will find that eventually that should will transform into “I need to go tonight.”
So, what are the benefits of joining a class? What’s in it for you? And on the flip side, how can this give you an opportunity to help others? Then, most importantly, what does the Bible say about small group learning?
What’s in it for You?
It’s so easy for people who have experienced trauma in their lives to feel isolated or feel that other people could never fully understand the kinds of difficulties they may be struggling with. But everyone who has joined a REBOOT course is struggling with the same problem; they are dealing with some kind of trauma in their lives. Most of those attending will be able to identify with and support you in your journey to healing because they come with an empathetic understanding that trauma is born out of our own personal experiences.
Joining a group is helpful in promoting growth and change. You will have an opportunity to observe others in the group and learn from their experiences. Being in a small, informal group helps to build confidence and trust, encouraging everyone to participate, and this knits people together. Rather than trying to go it alone, having people around you who are all striving toward the goal to find healing in their lives will inspire you. They will give you feedback, encourage progress, help you build momentum, and make it easier to keep yourself moving forward towards your goals. As you can see, small groups are an ideal environment to learn, motivate one another, and support each other during difficult times.
What’s in it for Others?
When our hearts and minds are hurting, it’s hard to think about others. But there are so many benefits of taking our eyes off ourselves and focusing on others. One of the advantages of being part of a small learning group is that it will give you a great opportunity to share the knowledge and wisdom you have gained from your experiences. The Bible says that God “helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Cor. 1:4 GNT)
Others will also benefit from the gifts and talents God has given you. The Bible says that “God has made us what we are. He created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10 GWT) You are God’s masterpiece, a work of art, made with all the colors of the rainbow. The dark and light shades give your life depth and beauty, making you who you are today. God has created you with a purpose in mind – and frankly, it’s not all about you. True, serving God and investing your life in others will bring you earthly and heavenly rewards, but don’t discount the eternal effect your gifts will have on others. Many course attendees repeat the course so that they can serve in some type of leadership position. Allow God to show off His work of art in and through your life!
What Does the Bible Say?
Small learning groups are based on a discipleship model that the Rabbi (teacher) Jesus used to mold and shape His twelve disciples. It is the perfect environment to explore and live out biblical truth. It is a place where students can also care for one another and meet one another’s needs, and demonstrates the Body of Christ in action.
The Bible says; “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” (Heb. 10:25 GNT)
In these days where trials and traumas touch so many lives, now is the time to reach out, love, and minister to one another. Stick with the course. You will be glad you did.
Rahnella Adsit; speaker, author/co-author: When War Comes Home, Combat Trauma Healing Manual, First Responder Healing Manual & REBOOT First Responders.