Friday, August 7, 2009

Abusive Churches: Leaving them Behind

Abusive Churches: Leaving them Behind Also from Battered Sheep, this article not only describes the painful exit process worshipers endure, but it also includes a good list of traits to look for in a church to indicate an abusive or healthy nature. Under the header Discerning Good from Abusive, Pat Zukeran includes these things to look for:

  • Does the leadership invite dialogue, advice, evaluation, and questions?
  • Is there a system of accountability or does the pastor keep full control?
  • Does a member's personality generally become stronger, happier, and more confident as a result of being with the group?
  • Are family commitments strengthened? Or are church obligations valued more than family ones?
  • Does the group encourage independent thinking, development of discernment skills, and creation of new ideas?
  • Is the group preoccupied with maintaining a good public image that does not match the inner circle experience?
  • Does the leadership encourage members to foster relations and connections with the larger society that are more than self-serving?
  • Is there a high rate of burnout among the members?

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