I was skyping with a man last night who heads up an international ministry that travels around the world ministering to churches, their pastors and leaders. I was telling him about The Lasting Supper and he was thrilled by the idea. He says there’s a definite need for it.
Even though I am not surprised because I’ve experienced it and have seen it and hear stories all day every day, he is still overcome with shock at the level of abuse that goes on in the church. This is how he said it:
“I meet these pastors and church leaders one on one. They are such gentle and kind men, full of the grace of God. But then I see how they treat other pastors, their leaders and members of their congregation and I’m just floored at the level of meanness and control these same people stoop to.”
I believe this happens for a couple of reasons:
1. When these people talk with another believer on the same page as they, just in conversation, there’s nothing on the line. There’s no risk. There’s no manifestation of their beliefs. It’s just a nice conversation in agreement over tea.
2. Put these same people in authority over other people and the real test begins. This is where all the fears and ambitions come into play because they are dealing with a diversity of beliefs and behaviors that can only be managed by bullying.
He asked me why I thought so many many people are leaving the church. I said that, in my opinion, it is an issue of control. People are being controlled in how to think and behave, and we now realize that we don’t have to submit to that anymore.
What happens is that as those in authority sense they are losing influence, they up their bullying tactics to maintain some level of control. It’s only bound to get worse.
Have you read the latest “meet and greet” story by SanG, ““My Story”? This is a good example of what I’m talking about.