By using the Quaker practice of Worship Sharing, groups can explore ideas in a safe environment. The emphasis is on self-disclosure and discovery, not on "winning the debate."

Worship Sharing

Worship sharing is patterned after the Quaker practice of open worship. Like open worship, worship sharing is a time for listening. There are some differences, however. In open worship, Friends tend to speak only if they feel compelled. In the context of worship sharing, you are encouraged to speak. Self-disclosure is an integral part of the process. Even if your thoughts seem unrefined, consider sharing them. Sometimes, catching a glimpse of someone "in process" can be more helpful than viewing their finished project. Here are some other guidelines for worship sharing:

Listen to learn. Keep in mind that each person will speak from his or her own perspective. People will feel safest if they can speak from the heart without receiving any advice or correction. If your experience has led you to a different conclusion, there is no need to be anxious. Perhaps there is a larger truth behind the seeming contradictions. In any case, try to learn from what others have said.

Listen with patience. Allow a suitable interval of silence between each speaker. This pause will give everyone an opportunity to reflect on what has been said. In the silence, see if God will bring insight. In general, do not speak a second time until each person has had the opportunity to speak. No one person should speak at great length.

Speak from your experience. In a debate, speakers often quote outside authorities to "prove" their point. It is also common for people to generalize by saying, "we" or "they," "everybody", "always", "never." In worship sharing, it is more helpful to speak only for yourself and from your own experience. Try to describe the process behind your conclusions.