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Dinner Group Guidelines

, by Nick Lenzi

It’s a good idea for every group to put words to their shared values, expectations, and commitments. Such guidelines will help you avoid unspoken agendas and unmet expectations. We recommend you discuss your guidelines in order to lay the foundation for a healthy group experience.

At Hoboken Grace we as that all dinner group members agree to three simple things.


If you can do those three simple things we are confident that you’ll set the foundation for a healthy group where relationships are built and spiritual growth occurs.


MAKE GROUP A PRIORITY // A primary responsibility of community is to prioritize for specific relationships. This requires a willingness to be available to meet each other’s needs. We will make group meetings a priority in our busy schedules.

BE PRESENT // For the time that we meet we ask that you are present with us. This means silencing anything that can become a distraction within the group.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS // We will invite friends to show up with us who might benefit from being a part of our dinner group and warmly welcome those who are new to the group.


SHARED OWNERSHIP // Take a part in making group happen each week. Healthy groups share responsibilities and group ownership.

CONTRIBUTE TO CONVERSATION // We will contribute to the group by either sharing or refraining from sharing as appropriate. We will refrain from conversation that distracts, or derails from the conversation at large.

SAFE ENVIRONMENT // We will work to create a safe place, where people can be heard and feel loved. This means we are quick to listen and slow to speak (no quick answers, snap judgments, or simple fixes).


AUTHENTICITY // The atmosphere of a dinner group should encourage openness and transparency among members. This is an environment where people should feel free to be themselves.

CONFIDENTIALITY // For authenticity to occur, members must be able to trust that the issues discussed are not shared outside of the group. Whatever is said in the group will be treated with respect and not repeated outside of the group. Gossip will not be tolerated in any shape or form.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION //In order to avoid gossip we will seek to immediately resolve any concerns by following the principles of Matthew 18:15-17.