When Rachel Black was struggling to make sense of her abusive pastor, there was no Christianity Today Mars Hill podcasts and seemingly no books on how an employee in a church is to respond to such disregard. All she knew was the "hairs on her arms stood up" as she sought to understand her boss.
She knew that God was calling her to be a missionary. His seeming commitment to Christ and a future as a missionary "touched" her and they were married. But he can no longer harm Lisa.
It was a very good two years working for a mission college. Now they grieve the loss of what they had in Africa.
It is not unusual for those who have faced off with toxic leadership in the church to turn from the church. If you want to find a church of shalom, here are some hints.
One of the most hideous beliefs crushing abuse survivors within our Christian communities is that the ratting out of abusive leadership in the home or workplace is gossip or slander.
Forgive and forget. Don't judge. Remember we are all sinners. There are actually times when grace means to pronounce judgment and bring accountability.
I could tell in our discussion that Aaron was the dream employee. After two years of serving in the church, Aaron came home to his wife and shared with her, “I think Pastor Gene has a man-crush on me.”
We look for strong leaders using the world’s standards of leadership . . . not God’s. Elders in Christ's church are called to serve; this is how they are to lead. Jesus served.
Are we supposed to respect them . . . or challenge them? Leaders are God's and they are ours.
One of the surest ways to kill an organization is to be driven by image. One of the surest ways to identify a toxic leader is to find one driven by image.