Have you heard about our small group movement called: Embrace? Or maybe you’ve heard about it, seen pictures on Instagram or Facebook (click HERE to see Embrace pictures from those using the hashtag #saEmbrace) but you want to know more. Well here’s the simplest explanation of a very simple concept:
Embrace is a once a month, discussion based, small group program for women. The groups should be no larger than 8 and, if possible, mixed in age. Embrace was designed for Salvation Army corps (churches) but we welcome anyone that believes in the concept.
If you’re at a Salvation Army corps we suggest working with your corps officer and/or women’s ministries secretary. Doing this will give you the needed support to be a successful leader or advocate for Embrace. Once you or the designated leader of your Embrace group sign up (Embrace Campus sign up here) to be a registered leader, we will send you a digital tool kit to get you started.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Embrace that you may find helpful:
Question: What does the program for Embrace look like?
Answer: Unlike a traditional women’s program that may take place, there is no ‘program.’ There is no craft, there is no giveaway, there is no Bible Study (unless you’re in an Embrace: Campus group). The discussion questions the leaders receive on the first of the month are the program. Here’s what a typical Embrace meeting may look like:
6pm: Arrive at hostesses home (leader brings four questions)
6:15pm sit down for dinner (host provides)
6:30pm – Leader introduces the Embrace theme of the month and begins questions
Could simply look like: “well, our theme for the month is grace and the first question is…” after that the conversation can flow! Sometimes the conversation doesn’t flow. And that’s ok too, the group has to get comfortable with one another. It takes time.
Try to wrap up by 8pm with a prayer.
Question: How long do the groups last for? 4, 6, 9 or 12 months?
Answer: Each group, corps, church is unique so the answer may not always be the same. Ideally following the school/program calendar may serve you best. But we are very flexible and want groups to start during any month. So here are a few scenarios:
If your group starts in January, run all the way through August and form new groups (if possible) in September.
If you start in March, April May; again, run all the way through August and form new groups (if possible) in September.
If it’s summer time host an event to promote Embrace and start in September and run through May.
If it’s October, November, or December start right away and run until May.
If you were able to use September – May use the summer months to still meet but maybe in a more casual way. Like a BBQ or picnic. If your corps/church has multiple groups use the summer months to meet all together for a picnic or BBQ.
Question: How do you chose the groups?
Answer: I (Sarah) am a women’s ministries secretary at corps and I oversee five groups. I select the groups as well. I ask around to see if there are willing leaders for each group. Once I get all the women from the corps signed up ( I use a Google form survey to email out) and I have the leaders in place then I start forming groups. I have had best results when I have literally, believe it or not, drawn names. After drawing 6 – 8 names per group I look over the results to make sure there is a good balance of age/generations and mix up of friendship groups. Usually I get great results. Pray over the names first! 🙂
Question: When do the groups meet?
Answer: The groups meet when it works best for them to meet. The tool I use that is very helpful is called Doodle.com. It’s a scheduling tool. Once each person enters their availability by selecting the dates they are free, Doodle tells you what day works best. Or another option is to have the same day every month, like, the second Sunday night of the month. Again each group is unique and should try to accommodate each other.
Do you have a question that is not listed here? Use the form below to ask and we will get back to you!