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Are We Missing the Point of Matthew 18?

It’s about more than church discipline. It’s about flourishing community.
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Are We Missing the Point of Matthew 18?
Image: Illustration by Duncan Robertson

A pastor learns that a married man is having an affair with a married woman in the same small group Bible study. The fallout is only just beginning. According to Scripture, how should the pastor address this?

Or imagine this: A copastor of a church plant has been increasingly erratic. He’s showing signs of classic narcissism, leaving a wake of damaged people who’ve run afoul of his overbearing leadership. How should his co-pastor handle this?

Or bring it down a level: Two high schoolers in the youth group began showing romantic interest in each other. The boy’s parents were anxious about the situation, so they worked hard to shut it down. As a result, the girl’s parents were hurt and upset. Now there’s escalating tension between the parents, and accusations of wrongdoing are flying from both sides. The pastor is brought in to negotiate. What steps should the pastor take?

Those who’ve been in ministry any length of time don’t have to use much imagination ...

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