Mutual Invitation

Adapted for Group Spiritual Companioning

Mutual Invitation[1] is a small group process designed to allow for inclusion and disciplined sharing in culturally diverse settings, especially where there might be a variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds, or personality types present. The process allows for each person in the group to have an opportunity to share, as well as to participate in group dynamics. The process of Mutual Invitation can be adapted for different settings and purposes, e.g. family meal time, small group sharing, and office meetings.

Someone begins the sharing, related to the chosen topic. 

  • The facilitator will set a time limit for each person.
  • No questions, responses, or interruptions are allowed during the process.

After the sharing there is a brief pause to allow the others to reflect upon what has been shared.

  • Responding begins afte the pause.
  • Responding is done by asking open ended questions designed to allow the person sharing to examine further her experience.

In a Group Spiritual Companioning session, the person who is sharing invites the next person after others have responded to him/her.

  • Avoid inviting the person sitting next to you. This avoids the tendency to "go around in a circle."
  • The goal of mutual invitation is to randomly invite the next person. This random invitation prevents distractions such as anticipating or worrying about what to share. Random inivtation also helps keeps the focus on the person sharing.

The invited person may choose to share, to pass for now, or to pass.

  • Pass for now means she/he can share later when re-invited.
  • Pass indicates that she/he does not choose to share during this session.
  • Regardless of what the person chooses, she/he always invites the next person.

The process is repeated until everyone in the group has been invited.

[1] This process is based on the work of Eric H. F. Law.

For further discussion of Mutual Invitation, see The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb; A Spirituality for Leadership in a Multicultural Community, St. Louis, Missouri, Chalice Press, 1993, Chapter 9 and Appendix A.