How a church can be disrupted by a cultic intruder
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 19, 2017 11:08PM

If your church becomes 'hot', popular, etc - this may attract
"sheep stealers."

Confessions of a Former ‘It’ Church Pastor

We were the hottest church in our area. Then everything imploded

[www.christianitytoday.com]

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The rapid growth was a blessing, but it was burning me out. The influx of new volunteers felt like more of God's favor. One family plugged in faster than the others. The man of the house, Gordon (not his real name), took it upon himself to organize lunches throughout the work week that brought our people together—often without me. He used Facebook to tell everyone what a great church we were. It was flattering and seemed harmless, but it positioned him in several circles of influence at a rapid pace.

A couple months later, I started getting phone calls, text messages, and emails from various church members describing hurtful things Gordon had said about them and the church. He criticized people for being overweight, publicly slammed a leader for not having backup batteries for a DVD remote, and threatened to make a scene if the worship team sang a song he didn't like. Four households let me know they were on the verge of leaving because of him. I asked them to hold off so I could sit down with him one on one.

Gordon showed up to the meeting wearing reflective sunglasses that kept me from seeing his eyes. His answers to my questions were similarly deflective. For every issue I named, he shot back, "Those people are insecure."

I came to dread that phrase in the months that followed. I had several subsequent conversations with him as more members expressed frustration with his words and actions. Each complaint evoked the same response: “Those people are insecure.” While he refused to yield, others grew fed up and moved on. We lost a dozen families over the course of a year because of one man’s attitude.

Finally, after 13 months of confrontation, Gordon and his family stopped attending our services. Only, they didn’t really leave.

They may have been absent on Sunday mornings, but their influence was still strong among our attendees. They kept hosting their small group as a rogue gathering, leveraging those relationships and social media to recruit people to another church in town.

What is quoted above is just a small portion of the article.

The entire article is valuable reading.


The same thing can happen if a secular social justice project becomes
wealthy in terms of funds, participants, resources and excellent publicity.

Predators who may infiltrate and then attempt to get control. Too often
these predators exploit the humility of sincere Christians or equally sincere
social justice workers, and throw out guilt trips to get vulnerable
people to fear they remain biased, or fear that they are not fully walking
with the Lord. These assaults are used by predators to knock you off balance
then insinuate themselves into positions of leadership they do not deserve.

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Re: How a church can be disrupted by a cultic intruder
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 22, 2017 12:22AM

9 Warning Signs Your Pastor May Be Building His Own Kingdom

[www.stevehackman.net]

This article includes a lot of thoughtful comments on each of these nine points.

1) The Pastor is more vocal about taking the nations, country, or city “for Jesus” than loving individual people

2) Family members seem to fill key church job openings

3) The Pastor is not enthusiastic about uniting with other churches in their geographic region

4) Your proximity to the Pastor is directly related to your ability to further the church’s vision

5) The Pastor positions himself as having just a little better revelation of God’s will than everyone else.

6) In the Pastor’s eyes you are viewed as either “in” or “out”

7) There is passive or aggressive pressure by the Pastor not to associate with others who have left the church

8) The Pastor requires you to have your understanding of God, the Bible, and “the world” be in total agreement with him

9) The Pastor uses pulpit teachings to address conflicts that should be dealt with personally or privately.

These two items jumped out at me. Even sincere pastors can fall victim to these.

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2) Family members seem to fill key church job openings

when church positions seem to come quicker and with higher pay and perks for family members, things have gone off the rails a bit.

(Corboy note: When family members of big name donors are hired and given better pay than their predecessors, that is another red flag.)

4) Your proximity to the Pastor is directly related to your ability to further the church’s vision.

This kinda relates to point 1. If you make money, if you can give money, if you look right, if you will attract other people, if you solve problems, if you don’t make problems, and if you have marketable skills that the church won’t have to pay you for, you will get all kinds of “face time” with the Pastor looking to build his own kingdom.

Here are some situations, witnessed by Corboy that can be red flags:

1) The pastor willingly works for less than he or her stated salary and
needs no church based health insurance, thanks to the pastor being supported by a hardworking spouse or possessing a private income. In such a case, the board of directors or council of elders will, in gratitude, cut the pastor a lot of slack, allowing the pastor to go in maverick directions and escape normal accountablity.

When such a pastor retires, the church may experience 'sticker shock' when looking for a new pastor. A pastor who works for cheap may engage in questionable behavior that no one wants to examine, due to the implicit bribe of working at half salary.

2) The pastor is subtly charismatic and packs the board with admirers. What should be a board of directors becomes a board of enablers who look the other way and then refuse to set limits when the pastor's behavior becomes more and more controversial or questionable.

3) A pastor does counseling but refuses to take any fee. In such a situation, the pastor escapes accountability that licensed counselors are answerable to. A pastor who is certified as a CPE (clinical pastoral education) supervisor is not automatically qualified to function as a pastoral counselor. Chaplains usually function within institutions such as prisons or hospitals, which provide
many explicit boundary structures and protocols. A one on one counseling situation
in a church office is without these boundary structures.

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