Talk Thelema: GatherReaching Out
Talk Thelema does not have “membership” in the same manner as a Kaaba House Fellowship, a local body of O.T.O., or a Wiccan coven. Of course, we want to encourage return attendance to the group, but coordinators have a two-fold opportunity with participants.
First, we want to encourage those who are drawn to the Talk Thelema groups to return and participate on a regular basis.
Second, we also want to ensure that we are properly and respectfully directing seekers to other groups that may address additional needs best provided by a membership opportunity—such as with Kaaba House Fellowship, a local body of O.T.O., a Wiccan coven, or some other group.
Talk Thelema is a HeartFlame Ministries outreach program and we certainly wish to prioritize other offerings, both in curriculum and in local Fellowships, if such exist in your area. However, Talk Thelema as a program or curriculum may not be used to discriminate against any other group or provide opinions about the validity, membership, or teachings of any other group.
Growth is a priority for Talk Thelema. The program was designed to provide an opportunity for individual growth and spiritual development in a small group environment, but also as an outreach for non-Thelemites to see a different perspective—a type of ‘rubber meets the road’ approach—to the Law of Thelema.
Growing Your Group
Though Reaching In, you have begun making connections with new participants and nurturing relationships with regular attendees. The Connection Cards or sign-in sheets have provided you with the foundation for reaching out to these individuals. The big question is what to do with all this information now that you have it.
Assimilation of individuals goes through three stages.
Return → Relationship → Responsibility
If a visitor has participated once, the goal is to encourage their return. This is why the Connection Card or sign-up sheet is so important. Once you have the details in order to reach out to a visitor though email or a letter by post. Even a phone call is perfectly acceptable. Anything that reaches out and invites the visitor to return is the action we’re looking to take.
Once there is a pattern of return, once an individual becomes a regular attendee, we have built a relationship that encourages that individual to stay with the group and become an active participant in the group.
We nurture these relationships in order to build on the next stage: responsibility. Whether this is the cultivation of another coordinator for a new group or responsibility as a co-presentor or backup coordinator for your own group, this is important in people feeling like they are growing not just in their own individual spirituality but in a corporate manner with the group itself.
- They Filled Out A Card. Now What?
- What Do I Do When They Don’t Come Back? (Coming Soon)
- Cultivating Coordinators (Coming Soon)
From the point of initial contact with the group, a coordinator should reach out to that individual at least three times over the subsequent six months. The first meeting follow-up letter, the second meeting follow-up letter, and then a six-month follow-up letter are all incredibly important details that make a difference in the impression you make on a visitor. It is the entire rationale behind Reaching In and using the Connection Card or sign-up sheet at each meeting.
At six-months, a visitor who has regularly attended the Talk Thelema meetings should be considered a regular attendee and now on your list for receiving the bi-yearly contact letter. Just because someone become a regular in your meeting is no reason to stop reaching out to them. This is not a numbers game. It is an outreach to people whether they show up once a year or every single meeting.
Building Other Bridges
It is important to realize that each individual is unique in their spiritual walk. Part of that understanding comes in discerning the further needs of those attending Talk Thelema groups and directing them appropriately without a desire to retain them to keep a group’s numbers.
While certainly our goal is to present the Law of Thelema in a meaningful and practical way through the Talk Thelema program, we also want to ensure we are encouraging individuals to pursue to most appropriate spiritual path for them—even if this means losing a group member to another organization.
In pursuit of this goal, we encourage each Talk Thelema group to keep a list of as many different organizations in their local area with contact information. Doing this also means that coordinators are reaching out to other groups, introducing themselves, and creating networks of community that reach further than our insulated, individual groups.
There is a Local Groups Information Package template found on the Resource Downloads page.