Effective small-group leadership requires active listening. This type of leadership is an opportunity not to lecture but to invite people into authentic engagement and to prompt meaningful discussion. Active listening skills will help you hear the current needs of the group and respond in ways that encourage vulnerable sharing and spiritual growth. Your main role may be to get others to talk and to listen acutely so that you can engage with genuine concern and love. You can develop your active listening skills by focusing on nonverbal elements that communicate your interest and attentiveness. Make eye contact and lean in toward the person speaking. Nod and offer minimal encouragers that let the speaker know that you are listening. Authenticity is key.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
When has someone’s attentive listening encouraged you or created a deeper sense of connection? Join the conversation.
This is the confidence that we have in our relationship with God: If we ask for anything in agreement with his will, he listens to us.
—1 John 5:14 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
You have given me life.
You have filled me with your Spirit.
I am your child, not a slave to fear.
I am your child; light my path and guide my steps.
I am your child; hold me.
Hold me tight.
(Adapted from Romans 8.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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