Blocked care and the church

Child psychologists working with families where the child has experienced significant trauma sometimes talk about a concept called “Blocked Care.” The concept is particular associated with Daniel Hughes.[1] Blocked care/parenting is a state parents can enter when prolonged stress suppresses their capacity to sustain loving and empathic feelings towards their child. Broadly, this happens almost… Continue reading Blocked care and the church

Abuse, safeguarding and church discipline

One of my main concerns is to see healthy churches planted into urban contexts. We often talk about the church planting bit but I also try to talk as much as possible about the healthy bit.  When we talk about healthy churches we are thinking both about health in terms of right doctrine/teaching and good… Continue reading Abuse, safeguarding and church discipline

Idols, culture, abuse and scandal

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On Friday I wrote about the source idols of approval, comfort and security quoting this from Tom Wood’s book. We admit our own striving for wholeness through approval, comfort or security from others, from self-accomplishment, from this world’s offers of life or even our religious successes, as if they are life. Wood, Dr. Tom. Gospelling… Continue reading Idols, culture, abuse and scandal

Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?

A few years back I was asked to cover a couple of sessions for a ministry training course. One of the sessions was on “failure.” The request came with a couple of those expected awkward jokes along the lines of “we aren’t picking you for any specific reason.” Indeed, at the time, arguably I’d not… Continue reading Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?

Your pastor has considered giving up

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That’s perhaps not the headline you wanted to read is it? However, this is the challenging reality. At some point your pastor/vicar/elders have thought  “I could just walk out the building after the service finishes, in fact, I could do it right now. I could shut the Bible, walk out and never come back here.”… Continue reading Your pastor has considered giving up

Our responsibility when there are accusations of abuse and bullying

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Today I’m attending an online conference organised by Church As Refuge.  The organisers want to encourage pastors and church leaders to think about how we make churches safe and welcoming refuges for victims of abuse. However, the context is also that sadly we have seen too many cases of abuse within the church. We’ve seen… Continue reading Our responsibility when there are accusations of abuse and bullying

The (church) body keeps the score

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I recently referred to the book “The body keeps the score” which talks about how mental health issues and in particular trauma related health is not just in the mind. The physical brain, nervous system and the body are affected by trauma, respond to it and keep score of the damage inflicted. So, I’ve begun… Continue reading The (church) body keeps the score

How (not) to be a guilt driven church

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#TheDailyDose – Ephesians 2:8-10 The book we bought and the book we read Rick Warren’s best sellers “The purpose driven life” and “The purpose  driven church” –but a lot of churches and Christian lives feel “guilt driven” …not purpose driven What do I mean …. Trying to bridge a gap “For it is by grace… Continue reading How (not) to be a guilt driven church

Church Discipline and Church abuse

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There’s been some recent discussion on social media about the use of church discipline and whether or not it can be harmful and lead to examples of abuse.  The discussion was prompted by this article by Steve Kneale which was then shared by John Stevens – you can read the thread below John’s tweet to… Continue reading Church Discipline and Church abuse

How we respond to concerns about abusive and bullying culture matters for the culture

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There have been a range of responses to the recent scandals and reviews concerning abuse in the church. On the one hand there are those who I think wish it would all just go away.  We’ve identified a few rotten apples, they’ve been dealt with so let’s move on. There have been others however who… Continue reading How we respond to concerns about abusive and bullying culture matters for the culture