Your questions… answered!
How many facilitators do we need per group?
We highly recommend that all groups are led by at least two facilitators. This helps create a sense of safety and stability within the group, and co-facilitators keep each other accountable as they work together to guide discussions, navigate relationships, and maintain communication throughout the week. Group members benefit from having a unified team to look to, and we find that facilitators experience greater personal growth as they partner together.
What qualifications should facilitators have?
Life Experience: Anchor International programs are built on a peer-led support group model. One of the most powerful qualifications for any group facilitator is personal experience with mental health issues or with supporting a loved one. Peer leaders, equipped through training, bring a unique blend of humility and empathy to the group dynamics that foster deep relationships and the honest exploration of life and faith. Peer leaders demonstrate that we are all a work in progress, overcoming mental health challenges one day at a time through the help of Jesus.
Spiritual Maturity: In addition, Anchor International facilitators should be grounded in their identity in Christ and are pursuing an abiding relationship with him. They lead with vulnerability, model unconditional love, listen without bias, and are mindful of group dynamics and development. They create a safe space for participants to share and engage. Group facilitators recognize that every participant is on a unique journey with the Lord and is carrying the weight of untold stories shaped by family, culture, race, socioeconomics, and many other factors.
What is the Anchor International Facilitator Training Program?
Leading a mental health support group is a special calling, and it takes a unique set of skills to provide peer support for both faith and mental health. This is why Anchor International is dedicated to equipping facilitators through our simple yet comprehensive facilitator training program.
This online training program takes about 2 hours to complete and can be done at your own pace. You’ll then meet with our Volunteer Coordinator for a Certification Video Call as a final step for certification. This live video call is required for all facilitators as a measure of safety and preparedness.
Why do we need a leadership contact to oversee this ministry?
Anchor International is committed to helping your church establish a long-term mental health ministry. When you enter into ministry with a long-term mindset, it helps provide consistency for your church family and deepens the impact of your groups.
To this end, we encourage all partnering churches to designate what we call a “leadership contact.” This is a member of your leadership team who oversees your mental health ministry and is in communication with the Anchor International team. This person is dedicated to providing support and guidance for group facilitators, as well as ensuring general safety and accountability for the groups.
What does it mean to be a church partner?
A church partner is any ministry that completes our training program and hosts Anchor International groups.
Cost: Free! Partnering with Anchor International requires no financial commitment, although we do hope you’ll be inspired to support our ministry. We are dedicated to keeping all of our training and programs free-of-charge, so there are no barriers to reaching your community with Christ-centered mental health support.
Communication: By partnering with Anchor International, we hope you’ll be invested in an ongoing relationship. As we provide training and support for your group facilitators, we look forward to hearing about their experiences and how the Lord is working through your groups.
Catching the Vision: When you host Anchor International groups, we’re pretty sure you’ll be excited to spread the news! We hope you’ll share this ministry within your own church family and invite other churches to connect with Anchor International as well.
How can we raise awareness in our church community?
For most people, the idea of plugging into a mental health support group at their church is a brand new concept. This means you’ll want to get the word out with lots of repetition through a variety of channels, including weekly services, emails, flyers, social media, etc. One Sunday announcement is rarely enough to bring someone from a place of hurting and isolation to signing up for a group. You can invest in your future group members and your church as a whole by making it a point to continually raise awareness around your mental health ministry.
Pro tip: It is incredibly powerful to have group facilitators share directly with your church community – whether in person or on video. When they have a chance to share their “why,” it helps many others to feel invited and seen.
VIDEO: Anchor International board members Evan and Te Anna Brown share the importance of mental health ministry with their church family at Colorado Community Church in Aurora, Colorado.
Why should we choose Anchor International?
We’re glad you asked! Anchor International is here to serve your ministry as you serve your community. Our small but mighty team is dedicated to providing personalized support through every step of your journey. If our training and programs sound like a good fit, we would love to partner with you. Here’s what a few of our church partners are saying:
In my experience, mental health challenges and the discussion of them has been a bit of a taboo at many of the churches I’ve attended. I believe that Anchor’s work to change that is much needed and very much in-line with what God desires for our churches.
I like the thoroughness of the training and the intentionality of the groups. It is exactly what we are looking for – a framework for supporting those in our community with mental health challenges.
It’s amazing that people from all over the country and world can access these resources and be empowered, trained, and supported to offer this level of mental/spiritual health and support to our communities.
Connect with our team
If you're interested in starting a group in your church or community, please complete the form below. We look forward to walking alongside you in mental health ministry!