Thanks for sharing. What a wonderful ministry you have discovered! Flying under the radar to help those who don't fit the mold- it almost makes me want to go back to do the same!
There were those in our church who struggled as you described, but as home group leaders, we were too focused on the people who better fit the PDI mold to really be of any help to them. Boo!
I remember one time a pastor not with PDI/SGM came to visit our church. He made the observation that our family of churches had an interesting focus or goal - pastor-making, or raising up and training leaders. He called it an "elder factory." Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you couple it with the controlling leadership style that is taught and expected of all the pastors made (seemingly), then you have a problem. We were taught that our pastor loved everyone in the church, but was only able to invest in a handful of relationships, like Jesus with the twelve disciples. We were to model this in our home groups. Again, not a bad thing. But when your goal is raising up leaders, then you tend to mostly choose relationships where you see leadership potential. As we know, PDI/SGM leadership must fit a certain mold. What happens to those in the church who don't fit? Who is looking out for them? I know of several dear, struggling, DIFFERENT folks who stumbled into our church and eventually left, unhelped.
God forgive us.
But what IS a pastor anyway? Aren't they the ones with who care for the sheep? The ones who shepherd the flock with kindness and patience? Who have Jesus' heart to leave the 99 and go after the odd sheep? Is it really pastors that are being made?
Now for the disclaimer. I always feel compelled to disclose that our experience with PDI was a long time ago and things could be different now. It is possible in the many years that have passed, that some of the churches' pastors could be operating in a more grace-oriented, New Testament way. I really, really hope so, but I'm becoming less optimistic.
Welcome also (a little late) to In His Grip and I Survived!