Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Churches that abuse people Part 1

This post is going to be hard to write due to the nature of it but I feel compelled to get my feelings out in the open about this. I will not mention names, the name of the church, or the denomination.

My wife and I attended this church for over 10 years. We saw a lot happen, especially in the area of Youth Ministry. In the 10 years we were there, we saw 5 adult couples come and go as the Youth Pastors. My wife and I being the 5th couple the last two years we were there. I can't say for certain about one couple, but I know for sure that 4 of them, including my wife and I were Lay Pastors. Meaning we were not paid. We felt the call to work with teenagers and willingly did our service. There was a period of time between the 4th couple and my wife and I where the youth group was student-led and these kids that led the group are to be commended. They did an awesome job. Patty and I sat in and observed and felt the call at that time to work with them.

Well 10 years later, the 5 couples do not attend this church anymore and 3 that I know of, including ourselves are involved in youth ministry at other churches. That should say something right there and I think it points to the leadership of this church. I can only comment on the experience Patty and I had though.

We also saw many others, people that were leaders in the church and on the church board leave the church. This was a red flag for me. However, Patty did not see it at this time. I suffered through another year of being there until my wife finally felt the same way I did.

I can only describe what happened to us as a form of spiritual abuse where there was a very legalistic approach to everything and the leadership was very authoritarian in style.

We finally left and found a wonderful church that we are being fed at spiritually as well as emotionally. I can't tell you the spiritual growth that my family has had in this past year.

My next post is an article I found on Spiritual Abuse that asks 11 questions with the author's comments after the questions. I will put my comments under his in a different font color to better explain what we went through.


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