What do I need to run a course?
It’s pretty simple – one book, 3 months (12 sessions), a group of willing participants (no fewer than 2!) and a facilitator. The course films are free of charge and the course book costs £15 (both of which can be found on the Resources page). There is also a Facilitator’s Manual (which sets out in detail everything you will need to successfully run a course).
Whilst it is preferable for the facilitator(s) go through their own STEPS journey before running a course, we have seen courses successfully run by people who are also journeying through STEPS for the first time themselves.
Where can I hold a STEPS course?
The course can be held anywhere there is access to a screen (TV/laptop) – a church hall, living room, café, meeting room – the list goes on. So long as there is access to watch the films and enough privacy to ensure people feel comfortable to speak.
I have no background in running pastoral courses.
Does that matter?
Not at all! The STEPS course has been designed so that almost anyone can facilitate a course, as the journey is one that each participant, including the facilitator, goes on together. As a course facilitator, you’re there to guide the journey and provide structure to the sessions, but not to advise or give counselling to the participants. If participants ask for advice outside of the sessions, facilitators are welcome to give counsel that is restricted to their own experiences.
How much of my time will it take up?
Each weekly session lasts no more than one and a half hours, including the introduction session. For Step 5, ‘Confession’, we recommend running it over the course of a day - for example, Saturday 9.30am-3pm. This is so that participants have enough time and space to confront and confess their inventory (made in Step 4), in a safe and positive environment. However, Step 5 can also be held over an extended evening if necessary (see the Facilitator’s Manual for more information).
Can I receive any guidance before running a course?
Yes! We have a number of experienced STEPS facilitators who are readily available to guide you through your first course, and give you advice. People who have run courses for the first time have found this assistance really helpful, so we would encourage you to make the most of this service.
So how does the course actually work?
The course is based around a series of 12 short films (one per week), which take the participants through the 12 step journey towards freedom. The Introduction session helps participants work out which area they want to work on during the course (e.g. anxiety, fear of failure, anger, pride, lack of self-worth, etc) and explains how the course works. Participants are then encouraged to sign up to the course after attending the Introduction.
Before each step, participants are expected to read the chapter for the step in question, and take time to complete the exercises and questions listed at the end of each chapter. At the weekly meetings, the participants will watch the film together and then in small groups (no greater than 12), share any reflections they had while doing the exercises. These meetings are structured in a way that enables everyone to have the chance to speak at least once. Everything shared is confidential, and no advice or opinion is to be given by other participants in or outside the group. The facilitator is there to explain these guidelines (set out in the Facilitator’s Manual), and to start off the group session by sharing their own reflections.
During the week, participants are encouraged to contact their group facilitator to reflect further on their journey and discuss any questions they might have in relation to working with the STEPS process.