Those facilitating groups in the Biblical Vision of the Family program will be Catholics who are faithful to the Church, and who have a love and respect for marriage and family, as well as the ability to lead small groups.
It is not a question of finding leaders who already have an advanced knowledge of marriage and family or who have theological expertise. Rather, what is needed are people who can ensure that a group runs smoothly, following the structure provided in the dvd’s and Companion Guidebook. They should have a basic understanding of group dynamics, and an ability to create and foster a welcoming atmosphere, helping participants become involved in discussion.
The built-in strength of this program is that all the Scriptural and theological teaching is contained on the DVDs. The Companion Guidebook provides the structure for each session and guides the entire process through its various components (when to pray, the teaching on the dvd’s, when to have the small/large groups discussion, the questions which guide these groups, etc).
Faithful parish leaders who have the basic skills to run a small group and who have a love for family can easily use this material to advantage.
If there are numerous small groups in a parish using this program or a large one that breaks up into smaller groups for discussion, there needs to be a facilitator for each small group or each discussion group. There should also be one person appointed as co-ordinator of the program for the whole parish. This can be a deacon, family life director, catechist, director of faith formation, etc.
The best situation is when the parish priest is clearly supportive of this project. He is an invaluable resource to whom people can go; his active involvement clearly links the series with the regular life of the Church in terms of sacraments and teaching. Ideally, the parish priest can use the time the program is running in his parish to focus on family life issues. It is important for participants to know that he is available if any issues arise.