Clearness Committee: The Process
- Gather no more than 3-5 people as a part of your committee.
- Think ahead about the question or problem about which you would like to have clarity. If you have time, write out and share ahead of time a short summary (no more than one page) of what is going on and what you would like to have clarified.
- Ask one person to be the facilitator/time-keeper and ask another person to take notes during the clearness committee. Both should also participate in asking questions of the focus person.
- During question times from the group, participants should ask only clarifying, honest, and caring questions. They should refrain from giving advice, asking questions that fulfill curiosity rather than clarifying the issues. Keep responses brief and to the point.
- Don’t be afraid of times of silence. At any point in the process, any member can ask for a time of silence.
Introduction to Process (3 min) — Introduce the process to group members and appoint facilitator and recorder.
Silence (3 minutes) — Time for centering and quiet, asking God to be present in the process. Ask God to help each person to be open to the movement of God’s spirit.
Focus Person Presents Concern (15 minutes) — The focus person shares the question or issue that needs discernment, what is going on, what the factors are, and what the primary questions are. Only the focus person speaks.
Questions to the Focus Person and Response (20-25 minutes) — Members of the group ask questions for clarification. The focus person can answer the questions. He or she should feel free not to answer questions they don’t feel comfortable answering.
Facilitator Invites time of Silent Reflection (2 minutes)
Focus Person Responds (5 minutes) — The focus person shares their observations and reflections. You may want to answer the question, “What seems to rise to the surface, to carry import, to feel weighty?”
Response Time (10 minutes) — Each questioner gets 2 minutes to share questions, observations, comments. The recorder should keep notes of these questions and comments. The focus person listens and does not respond.
Another Session Needed? (1 minute) — The facilitator asks whether there is a need for another session.
Closing Prayer or Blessing (2 minutes)
Photo Credit: John Foxx / Stockbyte / ThinkStock