Small group leaders need to move beyond being teachers who dispense information to passive listeners to being facilitators who encourage the exchange of dialogue and discussion among all group members (see figure 5.2). It is important to encourage all members to add to the conversation, which will help them feel their thoughts and comments are valued. This does not only entail simply asking someone, “What do you think about that, Bob?” Instead, leaders should be willing to throw out the ball and be quiet as members toss it back and forth to each other instead of merely replying directly to the leader. This moves members from being passive listeners to being engaged participants.

Steve M. Gladen, Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2011).