Here's a concern of mine. More and more, people tell me that they do not teach their small group/bible study/sunday school class. Instead, they facilitate discussion. I think I have wavered back and forth on this in the past, but I know where I stand on this now.
Facilitating discussion does not often make disciples. Yes it is good to have dialogue, to be comfortable enough to share your thoughts. But what I find is that people are not challenged to go deeper than where they are and that includes the 'facilitator'.
When I teach, I spend tons of time in study and prayer, because I know that one person is going to ask the hard questions about the text. If I haven't done any quality study, I cannot teach and that bothers me. People have questions and want answers and I have not done any preparation so I can't help them.
For me, these communities of Bible Study had better be Word and God centered and not opinion centered. James says that not many of us should be teachers because our judgment will be stricter. So people who 'facilitate discussion' may feel they are off the hook from this warning, but I am apprehensive to any group that gathers and just shares their opinions on issues, God and the Bible.
We who are called and gifted for teaching need to be passionately engaged in the Word and considering how that Word applies to us. Then we can facilitate, not discussion but Bible Study, authentic community and the making of disciples! Take teaching seriously and humbly as a gift and privilege from God!