Lately when I have sat down to write it feels like the words just pour from my heart. Maybe it’s from years of just wishing I had a place like this to visit. To be able to read about someone elses journey. Reassurance that I wasn’t alone in the things I faced as a minster and minster’s wife. I would sit in my bed at night and journal, praying that one day I could relate some of my experiences to others.
Lately I’ve been amazed at the feedback from my blog. I’ve had some heart wrenching emails, phone calls and comments. All things that lead me to believe that a number of people are suffering from hurt in the church, but even more than that they have been victims of spiritual abuse. This a new term in my vocabulary. After all, even when I was in the midst of situations where leaders mis-used their authority…I had no clue. I thought it was part of the process…part of the sacrifice. But I remember feeling as though something was wrong and I could never feel fully alive or at peace while I served under those leaders. Now that I am far removed…my heart is heavy for the scores of people all echoing my same experiences.
As you know, Barry and I can relate to feeling controlled. It wasn’t an easy thing to escape…I don’t think it ever is. But, after hearing the stories of others, it has left me questioning why so many churches around the world are dealing with these same issues. I wholeheartedly agree that we must have a healthy respect for those in leadership… not just pastors but government, teachers, etc. But in many cases the idea and teaching of “Authority” has been so mishandled it has caused an enormous amount of damage.
So this leads me to my question for you…
Many people in leadership positions are reading my blog right now…people that are searching to understand where their church may have taken a wrong turn. People that are wanting to make changes for the better…but in some ways they don’t know where to start…they don’t understand the real issues at hand.
So, I’m asking for your comments on this post. I would love it if people would chime in and leave some feedback for people to read. Can you give me some examples of how you knew that you were in an abusive church?
You can leave your comments as anonymous if you would prefer. Remember, your input may be exactly what someone needs to read in order to see the truth of what is happening.
Your voice may help bring the change that is needed…