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MikeBeaversLMFT Posted - 01/24/2004 : 17:26:07
Hi Randall. Thanks for this forum. I'm sure it will be useful to me as I serve our church as "cell group champion". My question concerns confidentiality--how absolute, how best to "contract" concerning confidentiality at the outset of a leadership prototype group.

My initial take is that confidentiality is not absolute but that information could be shared with a cell group coach or pastor. Since I happen to be a therapist, one of my big issues is to be very clear at the outset what sort of confidentiality "breaches" might take place.

A follow-up question . . . do beginning cell groups typically do any sort of "contract" at start-up? Written? Are these contracts (if used) typically repeated verbally when newcomers show up?

Thanks again for making this forum available. It creates a unique "community" which I see as serving important goals.

Michael Beavers, MS LMFT

Michael Beavers, MS LMFT
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touchadmin Posted - 02/02/2004 : 18:00:37
Here's what I share with all my incoming cell members:

"I'm an under shepherd, not a senior pastor. I care for the sheep of another as if they were my own, but they're not mine, therefore if things are shared that must be shared with the senior shepherd, I will come to you and we will go together... I will not share it outside your presence unless you refuse to go with me, and then it will be your decision to let me go alone, not mine. Any issue that arises where I feel you would do harm to yourself, or you may or have shared that you have done harm to another must be shared without hesistation. Please don't ask me to keep secrets that would burden me more than I can bear. It's simply not fair."

Some cell groups create house rules, which include a line that says "what's shared in the meeting stays in the meeting" and others create group covenants (or what you called a contract), but I'm not real thrilled about group covenants because it makes everyone uneasy from the very beginning.

Hope this helps!

Randall Neighbour

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