Critical Incident Format 15

The Critical Incident Format comes from the Education for Ministry program developed at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. What follows is an adaptation that can be used as a small group format. One parish used this with groups of four to five persons over their lunch hour, meeting weekly or every other week. There was a rotation of who was "critical" which could be preempted if another participant had an immediately critical issue. The purpose was not to solve the problem, but rather to get some perspective on it from a Christian base.

The format is as follows:

  1. Individual presents the issue/event. Group checks for specificity and key points, then presses presenter for a one sentence summary of the issue.
  2. Others in the group share an event/issue from their lives of a similar nature in order that all identify with the issue presented.
  3. Group explores together biblical events/issues which have similar dynamics, checking their reality against the critical incident.
  4. Group looks into options available and possible courses of action.
  5. Group shares learnings.

15 Adapted by a group of EFM graduates in Richmond, Virginia.


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