QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING A BTB GROUP
I’m thinking about leading a BTB Group. What are the first steps I should take?
- Start with prayer–a lot of prayer. Listen to the voice of God. Ask Him to lead you to others with the same heart for racial reconciliation.
- If you are not a member already, request to join the Be The Bridge To Racial Unity Facebook group.
- Focus first on your own transformation and liberation. If you are a white person, start to intentionally listen to people of color and educate yourself on the issues. Two helpful resources you can download from our website, as well as from the “Files” tab on the left side of the BTB Facebook group, are “Bridge Building Resources” and Whiteness 101.
- Establish your purpose: Why do you want to start a BTB Group? What do you want to see God do?
What is the ideal makeup of a BTB group?
- BTB groups should be co-led by a pair of leaders. If you are white, it is essential to have a co-leader who is a person of color.
- Groups should consist of 3-12 people of different ethnic backgrounds. Also try to be as diverse as you can with marital status, age, geography, and other demographics.
- It’s preferable that no one person should be the only representative of any racial or ethnic group, so no one feels the pressure of being the sole spokesperson for their race/ethnicity.
- Ideally, groups would include at least as many people of color as white people.
OK, I’ve taken all the steps listed above, and I’m ready to lead a group. Now what do I do?
- Purchase a copy of The Bridge To Racial Unity Discussion Guide 2.0 and The Bridge To Racial Unity Leader’s Guide from the BTB webpage.
- Request to join the BTB Group Leaders Facebook group, where you can glean a wealth of wisdom from experienced group leaders. Have a look around. And utilize the search box to find answers to your questions, because chances are, someone has asked the same questions before.
- Register your group using the form below.
- Find at least two trusted friends or ministry partners to pray for you, your co-leader, and your group. Prayer support is essential.
How do I find people to participate?
- Ask your friends; networking can be key.
- Check the “Be the Bridge Members by City and State” document, listed under the “Files” tab of the BTB To Racial Unity Facebook group. Add your name and check back to see if anyone else adds theirs.
- Utilize social media.
- Check with your church leadership to nd out if there’s a way to let people from your congregation know about your group.
- Be aware that not everyone is in a place mentally, emotionally, or spiritually to engage in the work of racial bridge building. Try not to be discouraged if your attempts to nd group members are met with rejection or take time. This work is incredibly challenging. In the end, it will be more bene cial to nd group members who are “all in” than trying to convince others to join you.
What if I live in an area without much racial diversity? How do I begin to diversify my life?
- Begin exploring nearby communities that are more diverse. Shop at di erent stores. Join a di erent gym. Eat at di erent restaurants.
- Check out local cultural community centers.
- Seek out a mentor from a di erent ethnic or cultural background.
- Visit or join a more diverse church.
- Diversify who you follow on social media.
- Read books by people of di erent races and ethnicities.
- Watch di erent programming on TV.
- Get your news from a di erent source.
- Pray for God to send “people of peace” (people who can open doors into new communities) your way.
- Consider moving to a more diverse area.