I have to preface this week's Friday Five with a confession: despite being in seminary for a year, when I see "groups" I don't think what normal people thing (a gathering of people or things). No, I think about a mathematical object -- a set with an operation on it such that the operation is associative, and the set has an inverse element and a neutral element.
1. Tell us about any group(s) you currently belong to. (e.g. book club, knitting circle, walking buddies, etc.)
Not many groups right now. Seminary choir...covenant group...if classes count as groups, then I have more! I used to be involved in a whole slew of stuff; I have no idea now how I found the time for it!
2. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend?
Definitely an "it depends." It depends on how well I know the people in a group. If I know them well (and I mean really well), then I'm energized. But walking into a room of practical total strangers drains the life right out of me.
3. Is there a role you naturally find yourself playing in group situations? That is, do you naturally fall into the leader role, or the one who always makes sure the new person feels welcome, or the quiet one who sits back and lets others shine, or the host?
Let's do this one by process of elimination. I'm not a stunning host, though I've done that from time to time. In a small group (3-4) I tend to fall into the leader role, though in a larger group I tend to let the more assertive people take the reigns and make sure other people's voices are heard. So.....the one I fall more naturally into is the quiet one who sits back and lets others shine.
4. Handshakes vs. hugs: discuss.
Handshakes at first. Hugs come later...though I'm usually open to a hug pretty soon after I meet a person.
5. Ice breakers: a playful way to build community in a lighthearted manner, or a complete and utter hell of forced fun and awkwardness?
Depends on the ice breaker. I can't recall any particularly hellish ones off the top of my head (perhaps because I've blocked them out). Generally I find them fun and lighthearted and a great way to build community!
Bonus: If you answered "playful and lighthearted," share your favorite ice breaker.
This one isn't too bad: you mark two ends of the room (one with agree, one with disagree, or something along those lines). Next ask a series of questions (I like the cold, I live in the north, etc...) and people position themselves according to where they fall along the spectrum. We did this occasionally for Christian Fellowship and it's great because if you're going to be talking about something serious in a discussion, you can gradually steer the questions in that direction.