Spiritually abusive ministries…

  1. Have a distorted view of respect. They forget the simple adage that respect is earned, not granted. Abusive leaders demand respect without having earned it by good, honest living.
  2. Demand allegiance as proof of the follower’s allegiance to Christ. It’s either his/her way or no way. And if a follower deviates, he is guilty of deviating from Jesus.
  3. Use exclusive language. “We’re the only ministry really following Jesus.” “We have all the right theology.” Believe their way of doing things, thinking theologically, or handling ministry and church is the only correct way. Everyone else is wrong, misguided, or stupidly naive.
  4. Create a culture of fear and shame. Often there is no grace for someone who fails to live up to the church’s or ministry’s expectation. And if someone steps outside of the often-unspoken rules, leaders shame them into compliance. Can’t admit failure but often searches out failure in others and uses that knowledge to hold others in fear and captivity. They often quote scriptures about not touching God’s anointed, or bringing accusations against an elder. Yet they often confront sin in others, particularly ones who bring up legitimate biblical issues. Or they have their circle of influence take on this task, silencing critics.
  5. Often have a charismatic leader at the helm who starts off well, but slips into arrogance, protectionism and pride. Where a leader might start off being personable and interested in others’ issues, he/she eventually withdraws to a small group of “yes people” and isolates from the needs of others. Harbors a cult of personality, meaning if the central figure of the ministry or church left, the entity would collapse, as it was entirely dependent on one person to hold the place together.
  6. Cultivate a dependence on one leader or leaders for spiritual information. Personal discipleship isn’t encouraged. Often the Bible gets pushed away to the fringes unless the main leader is teaching it.
  7. Demand servanthood of their followers, but live prestigious, privileged lives. They live aloof from their followers and justify their extravagance as God’s favor and approval on their ministry. Unlike Jesus’ instructions to take the last seat, they often take the first seat at events and court others to grant them privileges.
  8. Buffer him/herself from criticism by placing people around themselves whose only allegiance is to the leader. Views those who bring up issues as enemies. Those who were once friends/allies swiftly become enemies once a concern is raised. Sometimes these folks are banished, told to be silent, or shamed into submission.
  9. Hold to outward performance but rejects authentic spirituality. Places burdens on followers to act a certain way, dress an acceptable way, and have an acceptable lifestyle.
  10. Use exclusivity for allegiance. Followers close to the leader or leaders feel like insiders. Everyone else is on the outside, though they long to be in that inner circle.

12 Responses to Spiritually abusive ministries…

  1. Bobbi Marie Goff Klein
    Bobbi Marie Goff Klein June 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    This is so true for some churches. I would like to know where you find it, it so hits home. Now, my question is what can a member of the church do about it.

    • Scotty Searan
      Scotty Searan June 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

      This is a sad fact. But it is.
      What can a member do about it?
      There are many things they can do.
      It would probably take a book to list all they can do.
      I am going to try to stick to basics.
      1. Pray
      2. Read God’s Word.
      3. Fast
      Now let’s build on this.
      When you pray you should ask God to forgive any sins in your life. Then ask God for wisdom. The Word says in James that if anyone doesn’t have enough wisdom, then to ask God for it and He will give it to you liberally. That’s where reading God’s Word comes in. So many times the answer is in God’s Word but yet we don’t know it.
      His Word should be hid in our heart. But how is it gonna be hid if we never put it in there?
      When you are dealing with ministers, You must go beyond reading God’s Word and Praying. It will take the power of fasting to know how to approach a Pastor. Keep this one thing in mind, a Pastor is a brother or sister in Christ. They should be approached as so, if there is an issue. I do not believe it is right to go the district office first when there is a problem with the Pastor. But there are Biblical procedures that I believe should be done before going to the district office.
      Don’t Gossip about your pastor. It’s a little sneaky sin that will creep in and cause bitterness. Bitterness is one thing that is hard to deal with. But there is another way to look at this. God may be wanting you to go sit under another Pastor.
      It seems today that most pastors like to deal with just a few issues and that is all they preach about.
      God might have you in an uncomfortable zone to get you to move to another minister and move up higher.
      It could be as the eagle when she builds her nest, she puts thorns in it and covers them with soft bedding for her eaglets. But as the eaglets mature she begins to remove the soft bedding and expose the thorns. The eaglets don’t want to sit on the thorns because they hurt. So they either fly or suffer pain.
      Nothing in the Bible says you must stay in one sanctuary or be under one minister.
      Nothing says the pastor is the one that should leave. This is all tradition.
      I hope this has helped you.

  2. Troy Day
    Troy Day June 14, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

    Would this study by Barna give us some answers? http://churchinfluence.com/post-christian-church-metrics/

  3. Street Preacherz
    Street Preacherz June 15, 2017 at 7:02 am #

    Ministry can be hard and difficult. From what little I know these two things.
    A pure heart towards God.
    A tenderheart towards men.

  4. Troy Day
    Troy Day June 15, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    And then, of course, you have MONSTER CHURCHES Street Preacherz http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/monster-churches/

  5. Street Preacherz
    Street Preacherz June 15, 2017 at 9:40 am #

    There’s monsters in small churches also. Hence the post. One day I want to go hear thousands sing to God. But it may have to wait until after the judgment. “Worthy is the Lamb…”

  6. Troy Day
    Troy Day June 15, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    One can be also a MONSTER PASTOR if… http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/you-may-be-a-monster-pastor-if/

    • Street Preacherz
      Street Preacherz June 15, 2017 at 10:01 am #

      We call that “church hurt” in milwaukee. goes both ways. I can’t image trying to be a pastor these days.
      1 media deluge 20+ hr.s p/wk.
      2 lack of loyalty and commitment
      3 hedonism
      4 everyone must be heard
      5 rude and demanding
      6 pay per view fights on Saturday night yelling kill, kill, Kill and complain they don’t “feel” any love on Sunday​ morning.
      7 And of course stingy.
      I guess no more deletes for the conscience striken???

  7. Street Preacherz
    Street Preacherz June 15, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    I still need to print up and read your link on sanctification by Jacobus. What i read lines up with my limited understanding of the Bible.

  8. Troy Day
    Troy Day June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    Jacobus Arminues vs. Theologiae Bapticostalis 🙂

  9. Street Preacherz
    Street Preacherz June 15, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    That Jesus is really something. Smart too. Genius status!!!

  10. Bobbi Marie Goff Klein
    Bobbi Marie Goff Klein June 15, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    Thank you so much for the article Monster pastor

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