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Chapter 18: Questions

If you have question for Wayne, or would like to suggest a topic for the group in discussing this chapter, please post it here.

Hi Wayne,

Jesus tells a parable about the wheat and the weeds growing together and not pulling out the weeds because the good stuff might accidentally get yanked out too. (Mt. 13:24-30). Let them grow together because at harvest time, they will be sorted out correctly. How do you interpret this parable? It speaks to me somewhat of judgement–not just God’s, ultimately, but ours of others. It isn’t our responsibility to “yank out the weeds.” But then there is quite a bit spoken about correcting wrong teaching in the N.T. and you mentioned it in this chapter.

“They have the courage to approach people personally, honestly, and gently in hopes of showing them a more excellent way. Only if that proves unsuccessful will they warn others to be careful around people who have yet to grasp the reality of the new creation.”

How do we know our responsibility vs. that of the Holy Spirit? Just wait for the nudges?


Hi Bobbe, this part of the book was highlighting what Matthew 18 says about disruptive influences in the community. Most people tend to just avoid them and avoid meetings they go to. I’ve seen many a home group whither because someone in it was being incredibly selfish, or simply wanted to take over and no one knew how to approach them. Instead the other people just stopped coming. What I like about people who have a bit more maturity is that they don’t mind sitting down and having a conversation, “Do you realize how much you take over a meeting and alienate other people?” Something like that. And they will interact with the person, helping them learn more effective communication if they want.

At other times people come in with a real desire to teach some aberrant theology or take control of people under their influence. When that happens the others need to be warned to give a wide berth to such folks.

Yes, I usually wait for a nudge, but sometimes I don’t need it, because their toxic influence is so obvious, and if not approached they will kill it for the rest of the group.

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Wayne…you wrote:

Second, they are people at rest in themselves, without a vision that others have to fulfill. They reflect both the honesty and gentleness of Christ in helping others see him more clearly. They are not defensive or angry when questioned. They don’t push or prod but simply invite people into a better way of living. They are not easily hurt if you don’t take their counsel because they realize you’re on a journey and trial and error are an important part of it.

This seems to be an unfortunate accurate description of many pastors of today’s church. Do you have any thoughts as to why this may be? Is it a byproduct of running a church with a business model? Vision casting and then “workers” who work to advance that vision?

Hi Heather. It’s how we’ve trained “successful” pastors over the last twenty years. This is driven home at pastor’s conferences and books, mostly shared and written by those who have created big institutions. That’s what an institution needs to be big. You cast a big vision and treat anyone as a threat who doesn’t go along. It works, at least if the goal is building numbers. It doesn’t work if you want to build people to be followers of Christ. It’s sad, but the most “successful” pastors I know are angry, defensive, and often deceptive people. The public persona they inhabit on Sunday morning is very different from the person they are during the week, especially with staff and with anyone in the congregation that questions them.

I find the other kind, those who are honest and gentle to be far more to my liking, so much healthier for the body of Christ, but in fact it’s difficult to lead an institution, especially a large one, with that personality.

Yes…I agree unfortunately. It does seem that “building His church” the way we interpret it today is counter to actually making disciples. They are two different things.