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I. Introduction (5 Minutes)
  1. Ask 3-4 people to share their answers to the first question posed on page 160.
  2. If time allows, ask 3-4 people to share the most helpful thing they read about or experienced regarding Exceptional Love.
II. Sharing Session (87 Minutes)
  1. Explain the purpose and format for taking notes in the class (1 minute)
    1. Instruct the class to open their workbooks to page 177.
    2. Write down what people say that you want to pray about.
    3. Also, write down things people say that you might want to affirm in the Group Affirmation time later in the session.
  2. Explain the sharing format (1 minute)
    1. Go to the three Waiting-to-Share Chairs at the front from now on.
    2. Remember that you have only 2.5 minutes to answer the four questions.
    3. The assistant gives a 2-minute wave and a final wave at 2.5 minutes.
    4. Please do not bring your workbook to the front.
  3. Model the sharing (5 minutes)
    1. The facilitator always shares first.
      1. Share your heartfelt answers based on your growth this week.
      2. Model how to share transparently, honestly, keeping within the time limit, and remembering to answer all four questions.
      3. The assistant does not affirm you unless both affirm people.
    2. The assistant always shares second.
      1. The assistant follows the facilitator guidelines in sharing.
      2. The assistant receives an affirmation from the facilitator.
  4. Conduct the sharing (75 minutes)
    1. Introduce the first Waiting-to-Share Chair occupant within 5 seconds.
    2. From the back, maintain eye contact with each sharer.
    3. Lead the group applause after each sharer finishes.
    4. Affirm one thing sharer says or does within 15 seconds from the front.
    5. Introduce the next sharer now sitting in the first Waiting-to-Share chair.
    6. Continue this process until everyone shares.
  5. Conduct the recap and vote (5 minutes)
    1. Ask each person to state his first name and a 1-5 word phrase that captures the most important thing about Exceptional Love that he or she shared.
    2. An example might be, “Sharon; Love is a decision, not primarily an emotion.”
    3. After the last person recaps, distribute the ballots.
    4. Ask each person to write the name of the person who worked the hardest to upgrade his or her Exceptional Love this past week.
    5. The assistant collects the ballots.
    6. After dismissing the couples to the breakout area, the assistant counts the ballots, breaks any important ties, and fills in the award.
III. Break (15 Minutes)
IV. Final Session (38 Minutes)
  1. Present the award (2 minutes)
    1. Introduce the three honorees to the group using the correct procedure.
    2. Lead the applause as each one stands.
    3. Ask all three to sit down together after you honor all three together.
    4. Call the name of the book recipient and begin the applause.
    5. Ask the book recipient to come to the front, accept the book, and express thanks to the group for the honor.
    6. Ask the book recipient to start the note writing process.
  2. Explain the next week’s Growth Opportunity Timeline on page 180 (1 minute)
  3. Introduce the group affirmation (10 minutes)
    1. Direct people to scan the notes they wrote on page 177.
    2. Explain that each person stands in turn, and in 15 seconds or less, affirms one thing the selected person did or said in class.
    3. Explain that at the 20-second mark, the assistant will call time, and the affirmation stops immediately.
    4. Explain the difference between an affirmation and advice.
      1. Affirmation: “Thank you” for something the person said or did.
      2. Advice (what we do not want): “I encourage you to do so and so.”
    5. Begin with anyone and ask that person to affirm someone.
    6. Continue until everyone affirms one other person.
  4. Conduct the closing activity (20 minutes)
    1. Ask each person to turn to page 178 in his or her workbook.
    2. Instruct each row to form a circle.
    3. If one group only has one couple in it, you and your spouse become the other couple with them.
    4. Give each group 3 seconds to select a small group leader.
    5. Once group has a small group leader, explain the process to everyone.
      1. “When prompted by me, each small group leader will turn to one of the two people in the small group besides his/her own spouse and ask that person to read and explain his/her answers to the four questions on page 178 in the workbook.”
      2. Until the assistant calls time at the 2-minute mark, the person sharing continues to explain his/her answers to the four questions.
      3. Once the assistant calls time at the 2-minute mark, you instruct each small group leader to ask the spouse of the person who just explained his four answers to share how he/she will inject exceptional love into future similar interactions.
      4. Explain that the spouse should talk until the assistant calls time at the 1-minute mark.
      5. The, you will reverse the roles for this same couple.
      6. Finally, explain that the small group leader and his/her spouse will replicate the same two interactions between them while you and your spouse call time at the right moments and explain what to do next.
    6. Begin this exercise by saying to your group leaders, “Select one of the two people in your group who is not married to you, and ask him/her to answer the four questions on page 178 over the next two minutes.”
    7. If a group contains three couples, ask the 2-couple groups to pray together for each other while the last couple shares their answers to the two questions and receive affirmations from their own small group fellow participants.
    8. Finally, give each person 2 minutes to write down what he/she will do in future similar interactions.
V. Conclusion (5 Minutes)
  1. Ask 3-4 people what they learned from listening to everyone share their stories.
  2. Give a brief, encouraging Pep Talk.
  3. Get them to re-commit to:
    1. Completing the growth opportunities every day as assigned.
    2. Being on time, if not early, next week.
    3. Signing their commitments on the Timeline for Session 6 Sheet.
  4. Close with a prayer.
Class Preparation Checklist:
  1. Listen to “Facilitator Skills” and “Session 5” messages on the Facilitator audio message.
  2. Pray for each couple by name; pray for God to use you
  3. Prepare the nametags
  4. Bring an award
  5. Bring extra pens
  6. Bring a box of facial tissue
  7. Bring ballots
  8. Make sure the refreshments are coming.
Classroom Set-up Checklist
  1. Arrange room furniture for classroom set-up.
  2. Eliminate outside viewing of the classroom.
  3. Put “Do Not Enter” signs on all doors to the classroom.
  4. Write the sharing session questions on the board (see page 176 in the student handbook).