1. There are different models of small groups. Some tend to be more egalitarian and others gravitate to be more hierarchical. If the small group has a leader, the relationship between the leader and the members can be interpreted in different ways as well: parent-children, elder-juniors, mentor-apprentices, spiritual director-directees, etc. And each metaphor would have its own distinctive group dynamics. So it’s imperative to communicate and clarify the expected roles from each members of the group to prevent future misunderstandings. For example, the leader sees his members as his children, and the members see their leader as their spiritual director. So one could imagine a scenario where the leader wants to exert his parental authority, and the members will rebel against him as they don’t expect their leader to be so meticulously involved in their life.
2. Perhaps I was born in the ivory tower of academic world. Cancer research, biblical studies, stuffs like that. Well, the good thing is at least these intellectual pursuits are not confined for private consumption but are translated to clinical practice and life of the church. I guess that’s the goal of scientific enquiry, anyway.