The thread has been pulled, and we are all beginning to see the toxicity of narcissistic systems. Our systemic disease is no longer a story for Christianity Today, it’s a story for the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Our illness has been exposed and the watching world has taken notice. The icon of ecclesial leadership has fallen, and it wasn’t just a misdemeanor offense. The sins of Hybels are not just his, but an entire system is implicated – other pastors in the system, governing leaders in the church, allies outside the church, and more. This isn’t a Hollywood scandal we can gawk at, this is our scandal, our reckoning, our moment to wake up.
Chuck DeGroat is Professor of Pastoral Care and Christian Spirituality at Western Theological Seminary MI, and Senior Fellow at Newbigin House of Studies. This article is a well-thought out response to systemic toxic leadership in the church. It is not enough to critique and rid ourselves of toxic leaders – the one guy at the top – but, we must begin to see that our systems are toxic. Those who have followed and mimicked Willow Creek have learned the hard way: ego and image may have more a place at the table than the Lord in many of our churches.
Go to this link to read Chuck’s complete article: