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.
“The exercise of authority is designed to serve the well-being of those under its care,” says Timothy Witmer. That seems basic to the Christian, and yet how many bosses view their leadership this way?
Forgive and forget. Don't judge. Remember we are all sinners. There are actually times when grace means to pronounce judgment and bring accountability.
We often focus on the actions of man in the process of determining whether real repentance has taken place. However, repentance is much more than this and our understanding of it will make a significant difference in how we look at those who have been called to repentance after crushing others under their authority or power.
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.”
"I soon realised something was wrong in my marriage, but I couldn’t put my finger on it." How Lisa, a missionary, found freedom from an abusive husband.
Susie's story is not uncommon. Her story is an example of a church work environment that is destructive and extraordinarily complex because highly authoritarian leadership is destructive and extraordinarily complex.