Weed and Wolf
What is most dangerous to the church? What is the most wicked weed and the most wily wolf? What weed looks delicious but is a terrible poison? What wolf wears the most convincing sheep costume to worm its way into the flock, its very food?
Over the many years I have been in the ministry, this is what I've concluded is most dangerous: Not sin. Not poverty. Not corruption. Not persecution. Not bad pastors. Not even poor theology. We will have these with us always. The greatest danger to the church is vision. Agenda. It is an idea for the church that certain people entertain that is the greatest danger to it. It is when different people have designs for the church, where they want it to be something other than what it is, that it destroys the fabric of the community. Even the most well-meaning people, believing that they want what's best for the church, in actuality introduce what is worst for it.
I have been on both sides: I've allowed my ideas for the church to bring damage to it, and seen other people's ideas do the same. This is the worst weeds and the worst wolves to the flock. This is what can slowly poison the community and bring sudden destruction to the fellowship, jeopardizing the actual life of what we think we are most concerned about. In desiring it to be more or different than what it is, we sabotage the beauty of what it actually already is. And this is what kills it.