- A moderator must prepare in such a way that he is relaxed enough to listen. Anyone can write and ask great questions, Lehrer said, but you prepare so that you can be relaxed enough to really listen. Lehrer shared a story from the 1960s about interviewing a Senator. The interview went like this:
Lehrer: "Should we sell more grain to Cuba?"
Senator: "Yes, Jim, I think we should sell more grain to Cuba. But first, we should bomb Havana."
Lehrer: "What kind of grain, Senator?"
This happens in small groups as well. I've watched leaders ask a question from their study guide, followed by a great discussion by the group. Meanwhile, the leader is looking down at his book. As the discussion slows down, the leader looks up and asks the next question, which was already answered during the previous discussion. The leader wasn't listening. He was thinking about his next question.
Listening is one of the most important skills a small group leader must learn. As a shepherd-leader, focus on the people in the group and prepare in such a way that you can relax enough to listen and join in the discussion.