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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 04:03AM


I’ve been at CFC for two years, and its been two years too long. Their culture of defeatism and constantly beating us over the head with our own sin has taken its toll on my spiritual life and personal life. For the longest time, I was convinced that it was just me. Maybe I wasn’t praying right or I was doing something wrong. But I’ve recently come to the realization that its not me…its Sovereign Grace Ministries. CFC’s worship is downright depressing. I want to go to church to celebrate what God has done for us! I love music from Matt Redman for instance. Its just constant praises to God in his music, whereas just about all of the Sovereign Grace Ministries songs focus around how bad of a sinner we all are.

Upon my confrontation with some of the leaders of the church regarding my contention with the general demeanor of the church as well as large portions of their “scriptural doctrine”, I was reminded of my own sinful nature several times by them. I’m tired of it, and I’m ready to move on. My fiance is seeing this firsthand for herself too. Members at CFC and Sovereign Grace Ministries as a whole are more concerned with their church’s survival and appearance of integrity, that its handling of severe issues are unacceptable and swept under the table so as to not be brought to the attention of everyone else.

Voicing my contentions with the church has resulted in a ton of lost friendships, spiritual depression, issues brushed under the table, and now my fiance and I are in the horrible position of preparing for a wedding when we no longer have a church to have it in, and a majority of people that were going to be in our wedding will now have nothing to do with it.

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 04:18AM


I attended a PDI church many years ago (’84 to ’89) in California and started attending from the ground up. I was one of the first to join the 6-7 families or so who relocated from Covenant Life. I’m amazed how all the stories I read on the ex member forums resonate with what I experienced years ago.

The apostolic-to-pastoral-to-member authority, the doctrinal purity, the discipline of children (families were expected to be super well-behaved), sin seeking, the home group discipleship, and more. Perhaps the sheparding-type stuff wasn’t there, but the seeds for it certainly were. It was very subtle spiritual abuse going on with the constant calls for getting certain teachings (especially when CJ Mahaney and Larry Tomczak showed up), and submit to the church program/teaching, which was being billed as the authentic NT church model. It took me several years to realize we were all becoming clones, and elitist ones at that.

Our church was probably the black-sheep of the PDI church family in those days, I’m sure, because it attracted so many mission-minded folks from Fuller Seminary and another mission school. Us mission folks knew from experience or mission training that healthy church planting only happens when local leaders and members are free to express the gospel message with a local/cultural expression and have a high degree of local autonomy. Of course, this clashed with the doctrine of apostolic authority big time.

To make a long story short, things came to a head after we sent a team to the Philippines and the team and the mission-minded Mission Director realized after only about 6 months on the mission field that PDI had every intention of forcing a top-down authority structure, not only on the California church, but the newly planted Filipino church, even though the “apostles” from DC were absolutely clueless about Filipino culture or cross-cultural ministry.

There was a huge misunderstanding–but I really want to say a conscious choice on the DC leadership’s part not to try to understand–and people were grossly misled. At least 4 families had invested 2 years into this program and were under certain impressions and when they realized how authoritative things were, they crashed, burned, quit, and some, sadly, couldn’t return to any church at all. Eventually there was a huge church split (after my wife and I had left) and half the church left (including most of the founding families) and half remained within PDI.

From my perspective, the root of most of this is what I call Bible abuse–when usually well-meaning people misuse scripture for a purpose that it wasn’t originally intended. The literalist approach to the Bible reinforces this, so if Hebrews says “obey your leaders,” well one better apply that strictly because it is God’s word for the church today and every practice and belief of the church better line up with what the scriptures teach. Trouble is, the Bible never claims to be a strict set of timeless maxims but a story of God’s love for humankind and how Christ brings good news of this to all.

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 04:30AM


It’s great to learn that my experience and a couple of my friends are not the only ones. I am surprised to see how many others have been hurt by their time with Sovereign Grace Ministries / People of Destiny International.

I started attending prior to our church joining Sovereign Grace Ministries. At first all seemed fine. The pastors were very open and available. Our church joined PDI a couple of months later and we soon started to notice a change. For some reason our pastors were not available anymore. We are all strongly encouraged to join a care group. More to the point, we were assigned to a care group.

Working full time and taking college classes at night presented a schedule conflict for me. Since I was already taking class, I did not think missing cg would be an issue. After missing the first cg, the leader asked me what was going on. I explained the situation and he seemed to fully understand. Well during the week of final exams we only had one class scheduled which naturally was for the final exam not on a cg night. Since I am not a “A” student I needed all the time to study, so I again missed cg as I had done since class started. This time I was confronted by one of the pastors. I explained the situation only to hear, “If you believe study is more important than God, that’s your priority” Thinking he was making a bad joke, I suddenly realized he was serious.

I started to attend cg after class had finished for the spring. All seemed well, we were encouraged to “open up” and not create “walls” in our lives. Naturally I wanted to be a good Christians and grow, so I opened up about things. This would prove to be a BIG BIG MISTAKE. I did not realize that the church I loved was practicing shepherding. I did see many in care group seek advice of the cg leader for all kinds of things. Well in time I signed up for classes and purchased a used car – the car I had stopped working and needed too much $$ to repair (engine and trans). For some reason this cg leader confronted me because I did not see his advice. He explained to me that he is my “spiritual covering”. I did not see this in the Bible, but then I was a Bible expert. At the next cg shuffle I was rewarded by being placed in the farthest cg from my house. It turned out that the cg leader was upset I did not consult him on matters he had no education/knowledge or experience with – basically my classes for my degree.

The next cg leader explained he knew of my situation and was there for me. I thought he was talking about my class/work schedule not what I had “opened up” about – struggles with family members. I soon learned that this cg leader was fully aware of the personal problem in my family – I am referring to abusive family members. I was not married at this time. Even though I had reconciled with one family member, it seemed this cg “give it a rest”.

After another year or so, I asked a couple of leaders why people seemed to have to go to leadership with virtually every decision. It was just an honest question, no judgment, just looking for information. I was promptly told that these leaders are setup by God, similar to the way Moses was set to lead the people. Also I was fully informed that my questions were an attack on God’s anointed and thus an attack on Him.

It has been many years, I will write more later – but I am surprised to meet people who have left the movement some as much as 5-10 years ago and have problems with being codependent to this day. I suggest they read the Bible and seek God not some covering for every decision.

And I really am talking about virtually every decision – even the ones that are clearly answered in Scripture


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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 04:53AM


I wanted to share my story because I think the structure of Sovereign Grace Ministry and the abuse our family experienced led to where we are now. And, let me tell you, we are a mess. It is only 36 hours since I recommitted my life to Jesus. While I know I made the choice to renounce Jesus, I believe I never would have been in that position if it weren’t for Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Quick necessary background: I was born Jewish, and grew up in and out of foster care due to abuse. I was literally collecting the items necessary to kill myself when a staff worker at my group home told me his story and offered to take me to a local youth group meeting. I got saved at that meeting 26 years ago.

Within two years I was out on my own, at college and invited to a Sovereign Grace Ministries church. I was only there a few months before transferring to another college, but it was right near another Sovereign Grace Ministries church, so that is where I attended. It was Robin Boisvert’s church, LCC. I was the ultimate people pleaser, involved in cg and any ministry I could find time for. Three years later when my non-SGM boyfriend proposed to me (and I said yes), my cg leader told me I should have spoken to Robin first, because as an “unparented” woman, he was my authority.

When I met with Robin he told me I shouldn’t marry my boyfriend unless he was planning to come to LCC. He wasn’t. We were planning to go to his church, and then to seminary for him to study to be a pastor. Robin could not point out any reason (sins, etc) to justify his position and we told him we would continue with our plans. Within a few weeks I was totally “excommunicated” from the church, and no one from LCC came to our wedding. We were stunned that any pastor or church could be so controlling, but we chalked it up to one bad experience.

Multiple times we have moved, etc. and ended up returning to a Sovereign Grace Ministries church. Why???? Because, 1- we didn’t experience the control in all the churches (either because we weren’t there long enough or didn’t “cross any lines” while there), and 2-we longed for close, caring relationships that caregroups seemed to foster.

Our final Sovereign Grace Ministries church was in Cary, NC and run by Phil Sasser. We were there for seven years. At the end we were co-leaders of our caregroup, ran the bookstore, we oversaw the Children’s Ministry program, et., etc., etc. We were the definition of involved. My biggest problem was that I had been regularly corrected for not submitting to my husband’s leadership.

A new family came and when they found out I had a Jewish background, invited us to visit a Messianic congregation they attended. (Please do not flame me.) We went to one service, with the agreement (my husband and I) that it would be the only one. Fine. It was nice, but on the way home my husband told me he wanted to return the following week for a holiday event. Before I knew it we were going to both the Messianic cong. and Sovereign Grace Ministries. We knew this could not last and my husband wanted us to attend the messianic cong. not Sovereign Grace Ministries. We fought about it and finally I thought that this was another situation where I had to submit, so I agreed.

My husband set up a meeting with Phil to discuss our plans. He was very concerned and wanted to meet a few times with my husband to discuss it. Fine. In the meantime my father died. We informed Phil and our caregroup leaders, asking them to pray for us. We returned late Saturday night and came to church on Sunday. Neither Phil nor our cg leaders said anything to me about my father. I wrote an email to Phil telling that I felt hurt that he had not remembered my father had died, and asking to meet with him for some help dealing with some issues that came up at the funeral, which I specified.

Instead of emailing me back, Phil forwarded my email to one of the other pastor, Daniel Baker, without even asking permission. When Daniel contacted me I told him that my email was private, and I did not wish to discuss it with him. I re-emailed Phil to set up an appointment for both my husband and I to meet with him. Although Phil emailed me that I had no right to expect him to ask about me or show “my version” of pastoral care, we still had no idea what was waiting for us.

When we arrived both Phil and Daniel were there waiting for us. I had come prepared to discuss the issues about pastoral care. I presented many verses about pastor’s responsibilities to be a caring shepherd, Christian responsibilities to show love and mercy, etc.- all to be told that I was twisting the Scriptures, that those verses only tell me what I as a Christian should do, not what I should expect of others, etc. As for my email, he said that by becoming a member of the (Sovereign Grace Ministries) church I had agreed that he could share any email with any pastor, and had no right to privacy.

He then went on to “discuss” the topic of our choice to leave. He blamed me for judaizing my husband. Even when my husband disagreed and told him that he was the one who wanted to leave, not me, Phil told him to stop protecting me. I was the jew and it was my fault we were leaving for a messianic congregation. I was proud, I was arrogant, etc, etc. Sound familiar??

The night we left there (New Year’s Eve 2003) was the first time since I got saved that I thought about suicide. I couldn’t believe the leadership was treating us this way, I thought Christians were different, etc.. I felt betrayed to the core of being. But again, I thought the worst had happened.

We planned to attend one more homegroup to say goodbye. But we were informed by Phil not to attend. We called our leaders, who also happened to be our best friends. They informed us we could not come to the meeting, as a matter of fact we weren’t allowed into their home again. We then discovered that all the cg leaders were sharing the same information with all the members that night- we were heretics and for the protection of their souls and their children’s souls, they should stay away from us. We lost every friendship and connection we had that night, leaving us out in the cold as we started from scratch at the messianic congregation.

We attended that congregation for eight months before my husband told me he no longer believed in Jesus. I went to the leader, who told me it was a phase, just be patient and loving. They met with my husband multiple times until he refused to meet any longer. All the while he was sending me articles and “showing” me every night how “Christians had misinterpreted” or twisted certain passages. I had no one to go to for help or support because we had been ostracized from the only church family we had. I was weak. I was terrified he would leave us and I had no way to support myself or my children. And, I was becoming more and more confused with each “proof” he presented.

Yes, I turned my back on Jesus because I was afraid of being abandoned by the only person left in my life. I wished I had some other choice, someone to help me, but I didn’t, and I wimped out. If Sovereign Grace Ministries hadn’t been so hateful and controlling, but full of the loving, encouraging relationships I thought, I could have gone back there, but as you all know too well, that isn’t the case. Additionally, the messianic leaders took the same approach, holding a meeting to inform the congregation that we were heretics. In the space of one year we were completely rejected twice by our religious “homes”.

So where are we 5+ years later? My husband has converted to Orthodox Judaism. The rest of us have tried, but cannot live this life. I cannot live without Jesus and as I said recommitted my life just Sunday morning, the first time I have been in a church since 2003. I am still confused about the Scriptures, but I cannot live wanting to die, which is where I have been for more than three years now.

I am still scared. I don’t know what will happen to my family. My husband says he won’t divorce me, but he is under orders from the Rabbis not to discuss religion with me. My daughter wants to try Christianity, and my son, I don’t know. He says he doesn’t believe in a personal God (he’s 18), but when he heard that I had a good experience at this church he said he might try it. He’s been burnt and he’s old enough to remember it.

I know this has been long, and included non-SGM stuff, but I truly believe that the abuses of Sovereign Grace Ministries are at the core of these issues. And, I believe that God will hold them accountable for what has happened to my family.

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 05:10AM


I found a Sovereign Grace Ministries church through a co-worker and have been attending for 8 years now. My husband was not a believer (I came to Christ first in our marriage) and he got saved there, through the love and prayers and reaching out of the members during that time.

Here were are 8 years later faced with the possibility of HAVING to leave. Not because we feel we should or want to, but because, NEWS FLASH: Sovereign Grace Ministries does not support missionaries. We shared about a year ago the call God has been speaking to us for a LONG TIME with our friends at church, then leadership. We have gotten nothing… Nothing. Total black hole, except for a few, count-them-on-one-hand kindred spirits. Out of many 100s at our church. No, “that’s GREAT! Good for you!” or, “Awesome! We’re with you!”. It’s WEIRD. TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY WEIRD the reaction we have gotten. The looks say it all: shock, then disbelief, then “are you approved to be missionaries??”, “did you talk this over with leadership??”. They don’t say that, of course, but the face and the silence says it all.

Little to no support; and I mean moral, spiritual, emotional – forget about financial. Sovereign Grace Ministries just does not have room in their missiology for missionaries. Pastors are the only ones called, forget the rest of the Body in spreading the gospel. The local church is raised up as the end of all ends. You can go on a pre-approved, church-sanctioned e-trip, just don’t think of going on your own or thinking you could hear the voice of God if it’s outside Sovereign Grace Ministries. The response has been COLD, indifferent nothingness, from everybody save a few handful of friends, mostly missions-minded, foreigners who know first-hand the tremendous need abroad.

I could list any number of incidents of the lack of support, cold shoulder, shunning-type experiences that have left us continually dazed and confused, but I won’t right now. After finding this site, and reading the testimonies, I can see clearly what I have always seen, just didn’t want to accept maybe. The top-down, organizational-type structure of leadership within Sovereign Grace Ministries does not allow the common folk, you and me, the Body of Christ, to be free to pursue our calling and fulfill our giftings and destiny in Christ IF IT DOES NOT FIT THE SGM CHURCH MODEL.

We are deeply saddened, maybe me more than my husband (a natural leader, does what he has to do no matter what other people say or don’t say – love him!). Today I was in the shower and felt a feeling I haven’t felt in a while – GRIEF. It really hurts. It hurts that the very body of Christ, and the pastors “called” to oversee our souls blah blah are missing it. They’ve totally missed the point. It seems, sadly, that the Sovereign Grace Ministries laypeople are kept from ever becoming or DOING anything for Christ and His Kingdom, what they were created to do (Eph 2:10), because if you’re not called to be a pastor, or CG leader, there’s just no place for you. And that’s the stinking truth. Sad and tragic.

It is deeply grievous to us that we have to LEAVE our church home to fulfill our calling in Christ when the very church that is supposed help us live out being the part of the body we were created to be ACTIVELY DISCOURAGES it.


Anyway, so be it. God is bigger. God is bigger. I love Jesus, he’s my life, I follow Him, not the church I attend. The Shepherd leads, the sheep know His voice and follow Him.

After 8 years we have NO ONE, no support base to go as missionaries. We have to start all over from scratch, because we’ve been forced to. Not because we want to. So… terrible. Where do we go from here? Only God knows, but we must press on.

Later I will post my real name and our missions website so you can read about us and see that we’re really not as crazy as everyone in our Sovereign Grace Ministries church now thinks we are – you know, for stepping out and actually following Christ’s commands.

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 05:24AM


"Mr. Canary and I are aware of three different occasions when we were informed we could not be our pastor or cg leaders’ “best friends”. The first time happened when we moved near a couple we had known for many years and considered our friends. They were our cg leaders. However, they informed us that moving near them would not insure a closer relationship, since they were called to form friendships with other leaders. We puzzled over that strange comment, as we had no plans to monopolize their time.

The second occurrence happened when we Canarys moved on a church plant. Mr. Canary was informed by one of the pastors who also went and who was spending time with Mr. Canary in the former church, that Mr. Canary should not expect to be this pastor’s close friend.

The third time was shortly before we left PDI. We were interested in the CO church plant and had to fill out an application to be considered. On it was a peculiar statement. In my own words, it stated that those who went with the Pastor on the church plant should not expect to be the pastor’s best friends. Weird." - Canary

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 05:40AM


My experience at Covenant Life Church was basically my teenage years. My family became deeply embedded in the church where we attended the youth ministry, care group, Covenant Life School, and Sunday worship. I met some incredible people who I am grateful to still call friends today. I am most grateful for the fact that I became a Christian at Covenant Life Church and will never regret my time there.

I am stronger today because of my journey. I am also profoundly thankful to have met my husband there. We are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary this year and enjoying our two beautiful little girls. It is my girls that I think about though when Covenant Life Church comes to mind. I could never let them go to a place that could hurt and confusion them in some many ways that I experienced.

My parents would receive phone calls after church from other parents explaining that my sister and I were stumbling blocks due to our clothing or due to our discussions with other teens about activities we did with our parents approval that were not approved by other parents (ie dating, music choices, up coming social events). As time went on, my parents tried to play the game of the inner circle and they cracked down on our lifestyle.

I was living with my biological mom at the time and my step mom and dad found out that I started dating this guy from my CLS class (my husband now). Knowing how the church frowned on this, they sought counsel from their care group leader, my care group leader, and their pastor. They all came to the decision that for me to really be the Christian that I claimed to be, I would need to move out of my Mom’s house and move in permanently with my dad and Step mom.

I have memories that I will never forget about writing my biological mom a letter on my 16th birthday telling her that “God told me to move out of her house in order to be a better Christian.” The next year went fine because all the people that I spent time with at the Church approved of my new living situation and I was even allowed to maintain a friendship with the classmate that I tried to date under the supervision of both his parents and my own.

Unfortunately, some of my female classmates did not approve and our relationship was constantly under pressure from the church and the school. We were finally told we would not graduate if we did not severe all ties. In a class of 16, that was pretty tough. I ended up dealing with severe depression and suicidal situations that were dismissed by pastors as more evidence of my sin and lack of faith. I moved back in with my mom and tried to fly below the radar until graduation. Miraculously, my now husband and I both made it through. We lost most of our friends in the process and were left questioning the church, our parents, and organized religion in general.

During some of my roughest times at the church, I was gratefully transitioning in to my college phase and I choose to go out of state to a Christian college. It is by the Grace of God that I was able to go to an amazing Christian college that allowed me to see that Christians came in all different shapes and sizes.

It was funny at first because I instinctively name dropped about Covenant Life Church, CLS, and Joshua Harris to anyone that would listen. I soon realized that no one knew who what I was talking about and both the students and teachers were more interested in studying the bible and great preachers instead.

I am also grateful for the college experience I had because my family that did stay in the area and simply left ( AKA got asked to leave ) had a much longer road to recovery. They also still harbor a lot of bitterness and resentment.

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 05:53AM


I came across SGM Refuge when things erupted at Sovereign Grace Ministries earlier last week. Although I don’t agree with all the comments on SGM Refuge and SGM Survivors, the blogs and comments quickly made me realize that I am not alone in discerning the cult-like environment within Sovereign Grace Ministries. Let me also emphasize that the symptoms and problems described online are widespread throughout Sovereign Grace Ministries, not just Covenant Life Church.

My brief story:

I was a member of two Sovereign Grace Ministries churches in the DC-MD-VA area for a total of 8 years. During my first visit to a caregroup they spent over 45 minutes praising the attributes of the pastor. When I question the cgl about this, I was pointed to 1 Tim 5:17 – you know, the “double honor” idea.

The months turned into years and I witnessed nothing short of idol worship being given to the pastoral staff. It’s so easy to see that NOW, but I was so taken-in by their “observations” of my pride and sinful judgments. The papal hierarchy, manipulations and severe pressure to conform (“cult of personality”) were also rampant at both churches. The entire eight years I felt the Holy Spirit prodding me: something-is-wrong-here-but-I-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it.

I confronted pastors at both churches on these issues – citing multiple examples and how they contradicted scripture. Both made it clear that it was inconceivable to think they weren’t 100% correct (okay, 98%…), and that the apostolic team didn’t interpret the passages that way (“this is just how we do things within Sovereign Grace Ministries”).

It’s now been over a year since I pulled my family out of Sovereign Grace Ministries. It was hard leaving friends, brothers and sisters. We found a church that points us to Christ, not just the Cross. I’ve noticed how many people on the forums also commented on Sovereign Grace Ministries’ focus on the act of the crucifixion, vs worshiping the [risen!!] person of Jesus Christ. So easy to see that now…still kicking myself (repenting) of not yielding to the “Still Quiet Voice” I knew pre-SGM.

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 06:05AM


Our family attended a Sovereign Grace Ministries church for 3 years. We were a prime target. We left our previous church due to….It’s a long story, involving a inappropriate and dishonest leadership. It was a painful time, but God was faithful!

Anyway….. we began attending Sovereign Grace Ministries. The Pastor met with us and said that his church was very “hard to get in to” but it is very easy to leave. He was honest! The people were very friendly – at first. We attended membership classes for a year, before we were granted membership. Lots of classes (weekly) to make sure we were the type of members they wanted. We attended a Parent and Youth TAG. We also attended a family TAG group. As time progressed we were invited to attend a Marriage TAG group.

The youth TAG was very disturbing. The men met with the boys and almost every lesson was begun with “I’ve been really busy and have not had time to prepare, so, I’m just going to read the book out loud.” (Josh Harris’ book) My husband thought it very weird that almost every session the leader would ask the men/boys to discuss their sexual “triggers”. WOW! Eventually, my husband was so disturbed by the inappropriateness of the topic (fathers and young sons 12, and teenaged sons 18 sharing what “triggers” immoral thoughts.), that he stopped attending.

The Marriage TAG was also odd. Couples would sit around together and the men would talk about how “non-submissive” their wives were! At the end of the class, several of the wives would be crying. It was very disturbing! The men were so controlling! When my husband voiced his concerns, he was told that women needed to submit to their husbands.

There are many other things which happened during our time at this church. Most of it was awful! Our children were told by leaders that they were not very smart, that they had anger issues, that they were full of pride, etc. One child was actually told that, “it was not their place to ask any questions about anything. Their job was to, “make the leadership look good.”"

We still were not sure if we should leave or not. Everyone was so unhappy. We were constantly being told that we were wretched sinners (which we are) but Christ, But God! The “bad news” was constantly repeated, but rarely was the “good news” — we have freedom in Christ! He paid the debt! He has freed us!

We decided that we would meet with the pastor and discussed our concerns with him. It was quite an emotional meeting, but in the end, we had not made a final decision. ”Maybe it was us,” we thought. Maybe we were prideful. Maybe we were imagining being shunned, etc. We prayed and left the meeting.

A few days later, we returned to church for an activity. No one spoke to us until we were leaving. A board member’s wife said that she heard we had met with the pastor. I was surprised, but asked how she had heard that information. She replied that the pastor had sent out an email to the leadership, saying that we were leaving the church.

I was shocked! We had not even decided what we were going to do. We were actually leaning towards staying. My husband arranged for another meeting with the pastor to discuss the subject. When they met, the pastor said that he was sure that we were going to leave, but if we’d like, he could send an email stating that we had changed our mind and were now going to stay!

Wow! I’m not sure what he eventually did, but shortly after that meeting we left SGC. We have be away for almost a year and have not heard from anyone — except when we bump into them, etc. Were they told not to contact us? Possibly. I guess it doesn’t matter, really.

Looking back, we are actually thankful that we were treated so badly, because if we were accepted, we may have stayed and perhaps would have become completely deceived! God was, and is, faithful to us. We have learned many lessons.

We are active in a local church and L-O-V-E it! It is a doctrinally sound church with kind leadership and lovely members. The pastor is an expository preacher and loves God and his flock. It is not perfect — but neither are we! It’s a good fit! I look back at our painful Sovereign Grace Ministries church experience and am thankful that through all those difficult times, He never left us. We have been set free!

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Re: Sovereign Grace Ministries
Posted by: Maranatha Trail ()
Date: August 23, 2012 06:16AM


We were members of Covenant Life Church for about 7 years Then relocated and have been members of a Sovereign Grace Ministries church for the past 6 years. What I like about Sovereign Grace Ministries is the teachings and worship. They are excellent. We are well taught.

The PROBLEM with the church for us is the relationships with other members. We were at Covenant Life Church having a struggle with infertility. It was the most painful and difficult time in my life. For years and years. We so very munch wanted children. So we went to a fertility clinic for help. Oh no right LOL I told one “friend” only. She told our care group leader. She said “in love and to care for us”. Could you please love us less? LOL Somehow everyone then knew. We were sent for pastoral counseling. Great. Nothing came of this meeting. Just asked a lot of questions. Told us he wanted to meet again. We just blew it off. Covenant Life Church had over 2000 members, so easy to just get lost.

We were able to have a beautiful baby. There was a blank to pay. These women gossiped about us nonstop. They would even point to us in the hallway and talk to each other. We were snubbed frozen out, talked down to you get the picture right? I kept thinking what is it going to be like for our child to grow up in this church? I had one man from our care group come up to me in the lobby and say “Oh that poor little thing”. His wife was pregnant with their 6th child. She was very angry about her pregnancy and stated many times she did not want her baby. So when he said that I looked at him and said “Well he was so dearly wanted and so very loved. Can you say that about all of yours?”

My husband then changed jobs and we are now members of a Sovereign Grace Ministries church. So I guess by now you get that I “don’t fit” very well. And you know what it’s fine with me. I do homeschool but not with our church group. I do not believe in isolating my self or our children. I have many friends some do go to our church some do not. And if you think that’s dicey how about this, I even have unsaved friends. Unsaved friends who I am not attempting to direct toward a SGM church. I just like them!

I was told recently by my current care group leader that I needed to develop more relationships. I said “that’s something to think about”
So how so you survive in a SGM church? Don’t isolate yourself. If they say jump don’t ask how far. Just because they make an “observation” you do not have to agree with it. Think about it. It’s just their opinion they are also sinners. NEVER NEVER go for counseling they write everything down and will use it if needed. This happened to us. Our new pastor had info that could have only come from our previous church. Just so he could care for us of course. Find a private Christian counselor. Be very careful about what and who you talk to. Don’t tell anyone, anything you wouldn’t want printed in the local newspaper!!!

I got professional help to get past most of this. I realized it had a hold on me emotionally. I could not give my family or my God 100% of ME. I was still bound up with them! I saw how much power I gave them. How much control. I was done, I wanted ME back. And I got help to do that.

Why do we stay? Love the teaching and worship. Just cannot get anything like it anywhere else. We have looked. I have found a way to make it work for me. It has actually helped my relationship with my husband. He is my BFF. I girl talk with him!! Hope this helps. I need to go to bed!!!!!!!!

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