I think from time to time it’s good to do a “wellness check” on our churches. Over decades of church participation, I’ve been able to reflect on unhealthy congregations from the vantage point of safe, healthy ones.
With some regularity, I watch hurting folks crawl out of churches, still strong in their faith, but damaged and limping from the psychology of unhealthy leadership. Twice in my life, I, too, had to detox from churches that damage.
Why is that? How did well intentioned, theologically sound, God-fearing pastors and ministers of the Word end up being instruments of harm?
And really, no church is going to be perfect, so what’s the big deal?
To be clear, I do not have a theology degree. I do not currently have a paid staff position of ministry (although I have in the past). I have been merely an observer of brokenness within the church and have studied what it is that leads faith-filled, humble people to run for the exit ramp after years of trying to make it work.
I prefer to take it from the positive side. If you find your church has most of these elements, then I would say Read the rest of this entry »