John Macarthur's Men's Ministry: A Forum for Discussion Led by One "Teacher" and Twenty Six "Discussion Leaders"
Note: Since publishing this article, the list of discussion leaders and any mention of discussion leaders has been removed from the Grace Church website.
"The Church is now victim of a second attack against her, in the rampant Socialism and Sovietism that have been thrust upon her in the name of flabby and unmoral theories of "brotherhood" and in an appeal to her "fairness." The church has been made to believe that she is a forum for discussion and not a high place for annunciation." (1) John Macarthur's Grace Community Church Men's Ministry is led by one "teacher" and twenty Six "Discussion Leaders." The lone "teacher" is Mr. Rob Iverson (Since publishing this article, Rob Iverson is no longer listed as the lone teacher of this Men's Ministry.) Mr. Rob Iverson is the President and Chairman of the Board of John Macarthur's international ministry, The Masters Academy International, TMAI. This is a ministry that partners with foreign governments, cooperates with WCC members, and connects to the UN. Mr. Iverson is also the chairman of the Grace Community Church elder board, Senior VP of Grace To You and serves on the board of the Masters College. As of two years ago, Mr. Iverson was the elder in charge of overseeing the Purpose Driven Grace Community Church singles ministry called The Foundry. Mr. Iverson is also a director of Leadership Resources International, a church growth org.
"Grace Today" advertised a Chapel Electives course at Grace Community Church called “Lessons on Leadership: Learning from a Layman.” Who was scheduled to teach? Joe Weller, retired Chairman of Nestle. Rob Iverson, the 30 year Nestle VP, taught another day. The title of Mr. Iverson’s talk was “How to Survive and Thrive in All Circumstances.” Are Christians called to “survive and thrive?” “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Mr. Rob Iverson wants Christians to "survive and thrive." Mr. Iverson wrote the Document Resources for John Macarthur's Men's Ministry. Resource "Lesson 3 From Prison to Power" states, "Day Two: Read Genesis 40--What in verses 1–6 indicates that Joseph had learned how to 'survive and thrive' no matter what circumstances he was in?" On Day 4 Mr. Iverson states, "Share with your group one example of how you have personally applied God’s Word since beginning this study of Joseph’s life." Clearly these Document Resources provide guidelines for small group discussion.
In addition to the one "teacher," John Macarthur's Men's Ministry is lead by twenty six "Discussion Leaders." God has raised up preachers and teachers, but where does God say that He has raised up "Discussion Leaders" in His church? Is the Church a forum for discussion? A preacher and teacher will preach and teach God's Word. This is didactic teaching. What is a "Discussion Leader" and why are twenty six of them leading John Macarthur's Men's Ministry?
A group "discussion leader" can be another name for a facilitator (read the section in the article here: "Facilitators, Small Groups and Brainwashing"). The following examples taken from the internet show that a discussion leader can be a facilitator: Under the subtitle, "The role of the facilitator": In summary, a professional meeting facilitator is an unbiased discussion leader...(2) Under "Skill-building for Discussion Leaders"--subtitle "Facilitator": "This workgroup is for instructors who are just beginning or experienced discussion leaders... We'll talk about how to facilitate and encourage conversations between students..." (3) In the following example under "Civic Reflection-Finding a Discussion Leader," discussion leaders and facilitators are synonomous tearms: "A good idea is to use two discussion leaders who balance these qualities. The presence of co-facilitators also guards against..." (4) Under "World Economic Forum"--subtitle "Session Structure": "Workshop sessions are designed to promote greater interaction between discussion leaders and participants on a compelling challenge or complex issue. They are facilitated group discussions that focus on providing structured interventions from discussion leaders..." (5) Under "Discussion Leader Trainees": "Upon completion of the training session, the trainee must be approved by the current RLI Officers. If the candidate is not approved, they will be asked to attend another Discussion Leader training session so their skills at facilitation can be further refined." (6) Under "Recruit, Train, and Support Facilitators": "The best study circle programs combine excellent community organizing and excellent facilitation. Highly skilled facilitators ensure a quality discussion in each circle. Effective facilitator training develops study circle discussion leaders who understand the principles and techniques of effective small-group deliberation and the broader civic context in which the facilitation takes place." (7) "Parent Discussion Leaders need to attend the facilitator training session." (8) Under "SKIN DEEP-Facilitators Guide": "This booklet has been compiled to help facilitators guide discussion participants through those risks. The first eight pages of the guide are filled with practical suggestions for leading discussions." (9) A Catholic website under "Effective Small-Group Discussion Doesn’t Just Happen…By Accident" has the subtitle: "Introducing Practical Facilitator Training for Parish Based Small-Group Discussion Leaders." (10) A "Discussion Leader" isn't a traditional teacher employing didactic, Biblical teaching methods. A "Discussion Leader" is a facilitator and a transformational agent employing dialectical (manipulative) methods to reach group consensus. If these Grace Community Church Men's Ministry "Discussion Leaders" are facilitating a diverse group to consensus through dialogue (relationship building and bonding), then they are change agents, Satan's agents, and are creating an environment which will place their group members in demonic bondage because they want human relationships to preempt obedience to God. To learn about how facilitator-led (Discussion Leader-led) small groups invoke demons click here.