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Working with Churches that are Dealing with an Abuser: A Model in Progress. Philip Monroe, PsyD Biblical Seminary Diane Langberg, PhD Diane Langberg, PhD & Associates. www.biblical.edu. Today, we will explore:. Overarching and Principles to guide your work with abuse within the church

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working with churches that are dealing with an abuser a model in progress

Working with Churches that are Dealing with an Abuser:A Model in Progress

Philip Monroe, PsyD

Biblical Seminary

Diane Langberg, PhD

Diane Langberg, PhD & Associates

today we will explore
Today, we will explore:
  • Overarching and Principles to guide your work with abuse within the church
  • A Spiritual Care Team approach to healing and restoration of the parties involved
  • Common concerns and barriers by answering frequently asked questions
  • Your questions and comments
our assumptions
Our assumptions
  • You will be asked to be the expert in all sorts of topics: abuse, forgiveness, restitution, restoration, compensation, therapy, spiritual direction, fruit of the spirit, etc.
  • You cannot do this work alone. You need a team yourself
  • Teamwork is fraught with danger: conflict, misunderstanding, isolation, suspicion, fear
  • You need a map for yourself and for those you lead
overarching principles
Overarching principles
  • Abuse in the church impacts many
    • Caretakers need a large umbrella if they are going to serve those involved
  • When many are impacted, division is common
    • Caretakers remember they must be advocates for truth, justice, and grace
  • Protection of the “least of these” takes precedence
    • Caretakers understand abuse of power and provide tangible protection for the body of Christ
overarching principles6
Overarching principles
  • Never underestimate the power of self-deception
    • Caretakers recognize and work for true repentance
  • “As if you too…”
    • Caretakers work to understand the world and experiences of abuser and abused “as if” they themselves were in their shoes
overarching principles7
Overarching principles
  • Premature restoration is tempting
    • Caretakers resist the temptation to rush back to life “the way it used to be” but work to cultivate maturity, healing, and holy obedience to God
  • Wisdom comes from God—not committees
    • Caretakers immerse themselves in the study of God’s Word and prayer to discern His perspective on all issues pertaining to abuse and restoration
  • Crises reveal character
    • Caretakers use crises to explore and correct individual and systemic defects
overarching principles8
Overarching principles
  • The Church is not ours
    • Caretakers remember not to harm the church: to purify themselves first before working to purify the bride of Christ
mapping a path through the morass
Mapping a path through the morass
  • Ideally, we should:
    • Study the vast array of issues, teach the congregation from front and back, develop prevention plans, and address problems as they occur
  • But, realistically…
    • Build committedSpiritual Care Teams, learn together the key issues, develop a plan of action for healing, Communicate and educate, Plan for future prevention
choose spiritual care teams
Choose Spiritual Care Teams
  • Teams for congregation, offender, victims
    • Consider the character of potential members
      • Spiritually mature, prayerful, self-aware, able to listen, willing to learn, gentle but willing to confront, confidential, safe, not controlling, collaborative, patient
    • Require 2 year minimum commitment of time
      • Determine how the group make decisions, learn together, and function together
    • Determine how to collaborate with other teams, leadership, and outside agencies
prepare the scts
Prepare the SCTs
  • Spiritual work means warfare
    • Worship and study together
  • Group learning (biblical and experiential)
    • Abuse, abuse of power, deception/denial, their impact on others, protection, true and false repentance, restoration, restitution, forgiveness, healing, etc.
    • Restoration processes (time, process, fruit?)
      • Who or what will drive the group’s work?
  • Group dynamics training
  • Creating a plan of action
group dynamics
Group Dynamics
  • Explore how the group functions together with and without their ministry target
    • When it comes to data collection, exploration, confrontation, assessment, decision-making
    • When it comes to worship, fun, personal issues
    • When it comes to collaborating with outsiders (some of whom may not share the group’s view)
  • Key issues? Validation; good questions;
sct plan of action for restoration
SCT Plan of Action for restoration
  • Protection from self and others; boundaries set
  • Truth-telling about the abuse
  • Submission to process and acceptance of spiritual mentors
  • Discovery of roots of abuse and other sin (naming things from God’s view; hearing from others)
  • Deeper Truth-telling about life patterns and God’s sanctifying work
  • Restitution (acknowledges injustice and seeks to correct it)
  • Repentance (from actions and attitudes)
  • Reconnection to the larger body of Christ
preventing leader abuse
Preventing Leader Abuse?
  • Develop SCTs for pastors and Christian leaders
  • Provision of confidential sessions (therapy or spiritual direction) with trusted, outside professional
slide15
FAQs
  • How do you know when restoration is complete? When repentance is enough?
  • Who drives the decisions of protection? What if victims are in charge?
  • Can a Christian leader ever return to ministry?
  • What are the pit-falls of this kind of work?
slide16
Get copies of slides at:

www.wisecounsel.wordpress.com

pmonroe@biblical.edu