Ideas for Groups - 'Table Talk'
The game called 'Table Talk' is a great way for members of the CWG to have a relaxed, enjoyable time with others in the office during lunchtimes. The aim of Table Talk is to provide a safe place for people to begin to explore, articulate and engage in conversations about some of the big questions of life. It is described as a “game of conversations“ and the hope is that as you get together and play it, conversations will flourish, relationships will be built and strengthened and that you’ll have fun.
Table Talk is available in a variety of themes – see the website at www.table-talk.org – and every pack contains six topics linked to the theme of the box. For each topic there is a card containing an introduction and 16 question cards which invite exploration of the topic; one of the question cards is always a wild card to encourage people to ask their own question. A group of six to eight people simply gather at a table to discuss one of the topics and once the introduction card has been read, the 16 question cards are spread out on a table for all to see. The conversation starts when someone picks up a question card and poses it to the group. At any point someone at the table can pick up another card and read out that question. These “games” normally last between 30 and 45 minutes, and people discuss between 4 or 5 questions. Table Talk is also available as an app.
The Table Talk game has been used by one group, the Met Office Christian Fellowship, very successfully. David says:
"We began by using the material straight from the box, beginning with Table Talk for Friends. This past year we've been using the Table Talk for Blokes box - our group is all male so this has worked for us. We've been using the materials as prompters for discussion rather than religiously going through every question - for us it's just provided the structure for a conversation and when one aspect of the debate seems to have been exhausted we direct people to a different question on the topic.
The format of the boxes is that for each topic there is a prompter for thought plus 16 question cards. The main development last year was that we created some of our own material for one off discussions following the same format. Topics we did ourselves were: music, charity, climate change, history (done on 5th November). We're currently seeking some topics for the coming year - I'm thinking of doing one on freedom of speech given it's been so much in the news.
We run the groups approximately monthly, though we usually miss out August, and the sessions are at lunchtime and last 45 mins. If everybody came we'd have 8 in the group; normal attendance is 5 or 6. Some are Christians but we have at least 3 non-Christians who've been finding it really enjoyable. We do not hide the fact that the event is organised by the Christian Fellowship, we feel we should be quite open about that, but we make it clear that there is no Christian agenda - all are welcome to share their views. Other than sharing our thoughts and views we do not try and persuade others to join us but simply encourage openness in talking about life's big issues.
I'd thoroughly recommend it as a way of building relationships with non-Christian colleagues and starting to open up meaningful conversations."