What is a Friendship Group?
The purpose of the Friendship program is to nurture the spiritual growth of people with intellectual disabilities in the context of personal and meaningful relationships. Here’s how it works:
- Sessions often start in a large group with singing, sharing, and prayer.
- Next, a Bible lesson is shared. This usually includes group participation, often in drama format.
- This is followed by one-on-one time, where mentors and friends meet to discuss the Bible lesson and pray together. Often this time includes activities related to the Bible study.
- Finally, the group gathers again for social time and a closing prayer or song.
If you're thinking about starting a Friendship program, you should know that Friendship is not a ministry to people who have intellectual disabilities. Rather, it is a ministry with them. We refer to “friends” and “mentors” rather than students and teachers. Mentors often find that they learn as much as their friends and receive more than they give.
For a more detailed picture of a “typical” Friendship group, see our video “What is a Friendship Group?"