Friday, May 22, 2009

Positive, negative or nuetral?

When I first read this article I wasn't sure I agreed with Mark, but the more I think about this the more I realize how I've seen it played out in the church world. Check it out and let me know what you think.


At 11:30 AM, May 22, 2009 , Blogger Jaimee Holmes said...

That is a huge article to comment on.

I will say I do not very much like the "tone" of the article. It sounds condescending. And a bit like a math lesson. But that aside, I think he has some reasonable things to say.

I have been a "negative," bitter and for a cause so I see where he's coming with that... definitely not a great person for leadership, though I think sometimes it may be hard to discern between a negative and a visionary? I guess it comes down to whether or not an item is Biblical and for whose glory a cause is being pursued. Every great move of God within The Church has started with a sort of renegade "cause."

We are all sheep, like it or not... "Positives" are not exempt from sheep status... this is where I kinda don't appreciate the overall tone of the article. It feels very hierarchical and forced. I think we ought to all be "Positive Sheep." And while I accept that we do have human "shepherds" who lead/disciple, I don't think that makes the rest of us "neutrals!" Also, I think we ought all to be followers to a certain extent, insofar that we are willing to learn and have soft teachable hearts toward each other as brothers and sisters in Jesus... I don't know... I'm just not getting that spirit from this article. Perhaps I am reading this wrong. I have not been reading Frank Viola as of late, I promise! LoL.

At 7:51 PM, May 22, 2009 , Anonymous Linda Harris said...

I have to say, after 60 years of living and working in this world, sadly, everything he says is true, and given that is the nature of the human bell curve, it takes a lot more energy to move in a positive direction than it ought to take, speaking as a sheep who is usually ready to look over the next hill.

At 8:03 PM, May 22, 2009 , Anonymous Linda Harris said...

Jonathan, I just reread the article line by line, and I want to comment that from my perspective, that is exactly the main issue I have dealt with in my career, and I have come to the conclusion that this is one of the main issues in this world.

At 9:00 PM, May 22, 2009 , Blogger Joshua Rogers said...

I agree with alot of what Mark has to say. What I agree with most is that if the negative behavior is tolerated, it will spread like gangrene throughout the body. This behavior must be rebuked by positve leadership in a positive manner as soon as possible.(Titus 3:10-11) Unfortunately we tend to avoid this kind of confrontation. As a result ministries are severely weakened.

At 9:24 PM, May 27, 2009 , OpenID melaniecreel said...

Great article. I think Mark is speaking from past experience and thinking about things he would have done differently.

If we let negative people continue to influence the new believers or non-believers, they (and we for not rebuking) can turn those people away from Jesus. I have had a critical spirit about church for a while now, and while I am struggling to make sure I'm in line with what I know of the gospel, it's all too easy for me to be negative. I guess, that makes me a neutral. I am a sheep in many ways. I am a follower, but I feel I have a strong grasp of what Jesus wants of me and once I am made aware of my actions (sometimes years later!), I strive to conform to God's way. I don't think it's bad to have sheep... everyone can't be a leader. There have to be followers or who are you leading?

I have seen a vibrant church fall far though because a negative was allowed to continue to lead. And by the time it was dealt with, it was too late. He already had so many followers that I'm surprised there wasn't a split in the church. However, the pastor was pretty much forced to leave too, but even worse than that were that many of my friends were so affected by the circumstances that some haven't been back to church and have walked away from Jesus. I think we should keep people accountable to where they are, but maybe we should use the Share-Connect-Mission-Disciple model versus the negative-neutral-positive model. The only way to make disciples is to move them from where they are to where they should be.


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