Thursday, September 20, 2007

Which Comes First: The Goose or the Golden Egg?

Extrapolating a bit on this post from yesterday, here's an interesting quote from Steve Sjogren of Vineyard Community Church:
It is common to trust leaders in the early phase of a [church] plant, only to discover in short order these were "LWAs" -- leaders with an agenda. As church planters are in a conundrum for several years in a new plant -- we need leaders desperately, but most of those available to lead aren't qualified. Why is it common for these faux leaders to find their way to new church plants? Those who have been rejected in the past from other churches find it attractive to start over at a new church where no one knows them. The challenge with leaders is this -- to allow those who have failed in the past to get a fresh start, but at the same time make leadership decisions that will allow the church to grow in the years to come. This is my conclusion on this issue: I must more seriously take into consideration the larger work of God over individual leadership choices. It's a goose and golden egg situation. The golden eggs (individual leaders) are wonderful, but I must protect the health of the goose (the local church) above all other considerations.

(from Community of Kindness by Steve Sjogren and Rob Lewin)

This is logical. This is wise.

I'm still hung up. I guess I'm hung up on the giving of LWA's a fresh start. I guess I see ministry to them as part of the overall health of the community.

I don't see this is as clearly cut as when someone is being willfully, sinfully divisive. I guess even well-meaning people can be causing harm to the community, but I don't see distinctions being drawn here. Driscoll did not when he talked about shooting dogs. He meant "anyone who's holding back progress." And, frankly, lost people are not very productive. Yet who would suggest ignoring them? Discipling them is part of the vision.
So I guess I'm wondering how discipling fellow journeyers and leaders may fall into the vision. I repeat my primary question: Shouldn't working with them to change their mind be part of the vision? Or is there a point at which one just says to them, "You have three options: get on board, shut up, or get lost"?

Taking along the opposition may not be very pragmatic, but then, I've never been one for pragmatism.

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