When I was early on in my deconstruction (although there wasn’t this word for it at the time), I worked for the conference center where I “got saved.” This place had so much more significance to me than that, which is why I chose to work there after my departure from Bible college.
That summer of 1990, I had been placed in a “supervisory” position, and the supervisors were asked to come to a leadership training before the rest of the staff were due in. Don Kyzer was leading the training. The conferences that Don led (as part of a wonderful leadership team) were conferences that I had attended. The YMCA High School Values Conference (now known as Christian Values Conference) played a very significant role in my personal development. And now, I was to be receiving leadership training under one of the people who had a role in my personal development.
During conferences, he told captivating stories, and shared his...
Today, I learned of a megachurch assistant pastor who completed suicide yesterday. He was open about his mental illness. In fact, the prior day's tweet from him was rather telling.
In Bible college, the rules were very strict "to prepare us for the ministry." I think I just got it this morning (29 years later), even before reading about the suicide of Jarrid. They tried to prepare me for Hell. If I could handle the brutal criticism, triangulation, and judgment there, I'd be fine in a church or on a mission field.
Ministry is Hell. No one tells anyone this. It's kind of like telling people that being a parent is ridiculously hard, and for what seems like questionable results. If people knew that at the outset, we'd probably be dead in a generation because no one would have kids. Likewise, if folks were straight up about ministry, no one would enter, because it is Hell.
Allow me to explain. The judgment of Christians is brutal, from within the group. Each...