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Relational practices for the connected life

You were created in the image of a triune God—designed for deep connection in loving, attentive relationships. You were made to show up for others in the same way.


A Triad consists of three same-gender spiritual friends who intentionally engage in a weekly group to work relational muscles we take back to strengthen all our most important relationships.


The resources below will demonstrate, inform, guide and ultimately equip you to connect more deeply with God, yourself, and others.

The Triad Guide

Watch

Play Video

Watch the Eden Project team engage in an Eden Triad. This is not a case study, but three spiritual friends showing up in real time. Watch to gain awareness in how to check-in emotionally and how to receive others.

Listen

Season 1 of The EverPresent podcast provides foundational awareness around eight core emotions. This series is a great way to become more aware of your own interior life and to learn to connect with God and others. Duke Revard hosts with special guests Phil Herndon and Todd Wermers from Tin Man Ministries. They cover the following topics:
  • An honest anthropology of what we experience as humans in a fallen world
  • How to locate yourself emotionally in your body
  • What happens when we move toward relationship from each emotion
  • The dangers of isolating when we experience each emotion
  • What happens when we impair or avoid processing each emotion

Engage

The Triad Guide Booklet

The Triad Guide

This free guide is designed to (re)train you to deepen relationally by practicing with two trusted spiritual friends. Over time, those engaged in triads are reporting deeper awareness and connection. We feel less alone. We are less of a stranger to ourselves, able to more quickly identify what we’re feeling and why. We experience less shame as we discover how common-to-man our experiences are.


You are the mission of The Eden Project—a human being designed for the relationally rich soil of Eden. An Eden triad may be one of the ways the triune God leads you back home. Download a free copy of The Triad Guide, recruit two friends, and begin engaging this important discipleship environment.

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Become a monthly donor to receive a hard copy of the Triad Guide

By becoming an Eden donor, you’ll extend the mission so others connect more deeply with God, themselves, and others. As our thank you, we’ll send you a hard copy of the beautifully designed Triad Guide.

Attend a webinar for best practices, coaching and answers to your questions

Whether you’ve started a single triad or an Eden Chapter consisting of multiple triads, we’re here to help. At the Eden Triad Webinar we discuss best practices, coach you through challenges, and answer any questions you have. Sign up for our Triad Webinar today!

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FAQs

Eden Triads are an intentionally relational space to practice our humanity with a few trusted spiritual friends. The simple act of showing up and telling the truth to an empathetic listener who doesn’t leave is regenerative to the brain. This practice serves as a bridge to being known, feeling connected, and experiencing the fellowship we were designed for in Eden.


Eden Triads are helpful because we are creating a unique environment to practice being an embodied human in a relationship, in a controlled environment. This enables us to work relational muscles, and once strengthened, we can take them back to all of our most important relationships. This will result in you being more present with God, less a stranger to yourself, and more connected in all your human relationships.

An Eden Triad will be new for many. We encourage you to give it seven weeks before deciding if it’s helpful to you. Many of the benefits of engaging in this relational (re)training are subtle and accumulative over time. There may be Triad meetings when you experience profound comfort or the feeling of being less alone and deep fellowship with your Triads. At other times emotional check-ins will be mundane with you leaving only slightly more aware of what’s happening in your interior life. You’ll always have the opportunity to pray specifics for your spiritual friends. That said, allow this process to play out over a series of weeks, and then evaluate how much value it is adding to your life and relationships.

Connecting relationally is oxygen for a human. Going without quality oxygen for a stretch becomes unsustainable. For this reason, we recommend a Triad meeting weekly. Your life is full, and it is important to prioritize 1.5 hours a week to focus on growing your capacity for connection. Most of our friends who engage in a Triad are now checking in with each other more than once a week. They have also come to discover when they miss a week, they really feel the void of connection.

Over time, those of us who are engaged in a consistent weekly cadence of emotional check-ins are reporting significant new awareness and growth. We feel less alone. We experience less shame as we see how common to man our temptations are. We are less of a stranger to ourselves, able to more quickly identify what we’re feeling and why. We’re growing more present in relationships with others and receiving feedback like, “You’re a better listener than you used to be” and “I feel less alone with you than before.” These changes have convinced us that we need the intentional space that a Triad provides to practice our humanity with others.

While thoughtful adaptation may be necessary, we would generally recommend a meeting with the following scope & sequence:
  1. A Triad arrives and allows fifteen minutes for fellowship around coffee, etc.
  2. We gather up as a cluster of Triads or as a single Triad.
  3. Read The Eden Creed (Appendix A in the Triad Guide) to begin. This helps us remember again the true nature of our design as beings created by a triune God of love and made to connect deeply with God, self, and others.
  4. Each member (who is ready) shares an emotional “check-in” with the Triad (See list on p. 7 of Triad Guide). The Triad Guide provides additional instruction on how to speak and how to listen in a particular way.
  5. After it’s clear the person has finished sharing, thank them for showing up. If they shared something particularly personal, thank them for trusting you with this (and potentially highlight the courage it took to share this).
  6. We ask two questions after someone has shared:
    1. What do you need from us? We aim to do whatever we can for the person.
    2. What do you need from God? Then we pray to ask God to do what only he can do.
  7. We wrap up and head back into our day. This flow generally requires about 1.5 hours.

The two size dynamics you must pay attention to are trust and time.


Trust: Does each member trust everyone in the group? We find that it is easier for most people to trust two spiritual friends than it is to trust two friends plus one or two strangers. Keep this in mind as you organize Triads. If people are holding back due to group size, this is working against the healthy functioning of the Triad.


Time: It takes time for people to locate themselves and to share. It takes time to respond appropriately and to pray. A group of three is ideal because it gives everyone equal time to share and connect and receive prayer. If you have four or five, that is ok; just be prepared to need more time for each member to check in. If you have six, you should divide them into two Triads.

Yes. Triads grow and shrink over time, and you shouldn’t expect 100% attendance for a weekly cadence. For this reason, we’ve seen the most effective model being an “Eden Chapter.” Eden Chapters consist of same-gender groups of ten, twenty, or as many as forty-five people who meet in the same location every week. These chapters spend some time in fellowship, study the Scripture for twenty minutes, and then break into Triads for approximately one hour. The Eden Triad Guide has Scriptures from the Psalms (Appendix B) and the Life of Christ (Appendix C), highlighting the emotional life of humans in a fallen world. This is a helpful primer before entering into a Triad.


With this approach, Triads can be more fluid. So if spiritual friends are absent, individuals can jump in with another Triad. This has the feel of AA or Al-Anon, where those who attend can always count on others being present.


This format also protects against the lack of momentum we experience with chronic cancellations. Many of these chapters have gained so much momentum by adding consistent value to one another’s lives, that a quorum of participants meet even when their regularly scheduled time falls on Christmas Eve or the Fourth of July. They aren’t asked or required to do this; they simply desire to not miss a week of practicing connection!

We recommend you register for an Eden Triad Webinar. This live video webinar environment is designed to coach groups into healthy functioning Triads or in forming Eden Chapters of Triads. We make plenty of room for nuanced questions during these webinars. Register above to join the next webinar.