Is your Church Toxic?

Healthy
Unhealthy or Abusive
A place of blessing and refuge for those in need. A place people want to go. Lives are blessed.
A place of slavery. A place people want to leave. Lives are embittered.
Benevolent leadership genuinely concerned about the welfare of those it leads. Malevolent leadership concerned about control over those it leads.
Leadership concerned about loyalty to the people.
Leadership concerned about the loyalty of the people.
Devotes the system to meet the needs of the people.
Exploits the legitimate needs of people for its own ends.
Leadership builds up the people.
Leadership tears down the people.
Healthy structure established for order and taking care of the people. Whole structure works for the good of all.
Unhealthy structure established to control the people. “In” groups, rivalries, favoritism, rewards and punishments to ensure loyalty to the leadership and system.
Leadership is secure, welcomes outsiders.
Leadership is paranoid, afraid of outsiders and disloyal members.
Contributions made willingly
Contributions made under compulsion.
The good of all is what matters.
The system and one’s position in it are what matters.
The system serves the people.
The people serve the system.
Leaders serve the people.
Leaders control the people.
Hardships related to the task at hand.
Hardships arbitrary, inflicted by the leadership
Negative aspects of system discussed and corrected for the good of the people. People who identify problems are put in a position to address these needs for the good of all.
Negative aspects of system silenced. People who identify problems are viewed as a threat. They are marginalized, stigmatized and cast out of the system..
Welcomes helpful changes.
Resists changes.
Prayers of thanksgiving and praise.
Prayers of anguish and pain.
God leads people to go there.
God leads people to leave there.
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