Starting Your Mom Reads Group
Step one: Getting your group together:
How many people would you like to invite to join your book club? The size of your group is completely up to you! A group of 3-5 women is a good size for an intimate conversation, while 6-9 members can encourage a more lively exchange of ideas. Not sure who to invite? Feel free to think outside the box! Consider talking to moms you hang out with during soccer practice about discussing a book during that time, or posting on your Facebook page to see if anyone is interested.
Step Two: When and Where:
Now that you know who is coming, you can decide when and where you would like to meet. You’ll need to consider the schedules of the moms you want to include in your group. Your group can meet at someone’s home, at the library, at a local coffee shop, or where ever you’d like. You can plan for a simple discussion over a cup of coffee, or coordinate a potluck of snacks and mom treats! If you are struggling to coordinate schedules to get together with your group in person, you may want to consider a virtual group! A closed Facebook group, a virtual discussion through an online chat, or a video chat can be a creative way to stay connected when busy calendars get in the way.
Step Three: What are you going to read:
Our Classic 12 is a great place to start for helping your group develop a strong foundation in the principles of liberty. From there, we have further resources listed in the Classic 24, Classic 36, and Classic 48, to help you dig deeply into these topics. There are twelve books per list, so you can use the list as a blueprint for the year, or take your time on each book!
Step Four: Leading the meetings
Before you freak out about public speaking, just remember that these are discussion groups made up of your friends! You can make your discussion time as formal or as casual as you want. The great thing about a book club discussion, is that no one is going to whip out a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order and grade you on your performance. All you really need are material to discuss, which we picked in the last step, and a list of discussion questions. Here are four main categories of discussion questions to get you going.
Observation –Take a minute and survey the book you read. The great thing about this part is that it gives everyone a refresher on the material, and gives you some topics to refer back to during the main discussion. What stood out to different people about the book? What points about the author’s worldview are readily apparent from the conclusions he drew? What do you know about the author, and what do you learn about them through their book?
Evaluation –This step is critical to active listening. What we read affects the way we view the world, so it is important to have a standard to check what you read against. A few good ideas to get you started are Scripture, the Constitution, and the principles of Limited government, Individual freedom, Free enterprise, and Traditional Values (or the LIFT Principles, from Patriot Academy). To get started, how does what you have read line up with scripture? Do you have any particular verses or biblical principles that apply (positively or negatively) to what you are reading? Next, how does your understanding of the constitution inform your opinion of what you have read and its potential affect on our country and the world. And finally, does what you have read talk about any of the four LIFT Principles, and what does it say about them. The evaluation process helps you identify truth in what you are reading, as well as safeguarding against internalizing inaccurate information.
Implications – What does this mean for me? The best book in the world can only change the way you think if you take a minute to look at the short and long-term effect of the ideas and actions in the book. What are three possible positive, and three possible negative outcomes of the proposed solutions in the book? What values must be sacrificed in order to promote the principles in the book? Have the ideas in the book affected history positively or negatively? What are some potential moral implications of the worldview in the book?
Action – Is there something that you see because of what you read that brings to mind something in our country to pray about? Are there people to whom you need to communicate the truth you have read? Like every good thing, start small. Maybe you talk to a friend or family member, maybe you talk to your neighbor or call an elected official. We are not all called to run for office, or write a bestselling book, but we are all called to be faithful in the little things in our everyday life.
As you wrap the discussion up, you can take a minute to introduce the next book, maybe with a few facts about the author, or have someone read the back or the flyleaf aloud. End the meeting with prayer for our country, for the world at large, and ask if there is anything the ladies in the group would like you to pray for. Often, there is no easy answer for some of the trials we face, but we serve an awesome God who is fully capable of giving grace and discernment for anything He has placed in our lives.
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence. ~Abigail Adams