What if churches have been looking for the wrong kind of leaders?
The last decade has witnessed a rising number of churches wrecked by spiritual abuse--harsh, heavy-handed, domineering behavior from those in a position of spiritual authority. And high-profile cases are only a small portion of this widespread problem. Behind the scenes, there are many more cases of spiritual abuse that we will never hear about. Victims suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn.
It seems that some of the leaders we are producing--and, if we are honest, some of the leaders we are wanting--have characteristics that are either absent from, or even the very opposite of, the list of leadership characteristics laid down in Scripture.
Of course, most pastors and leaders are godly, wonderful people that don't abuse their sheep. They shepherd their flocks gently and patiently. But we can't ignore the growing number who do not.
We need gentle shepherds now more than ever, and in Bully Pulpit, seminary president and biblical scholar Michael J. Kruger offers a unique perspective for both church leaders and church members on the problem of spiritual abuse, how to spot it, and how to handle it in the church.