Some of the most hurtful experiences in churches, occur when persons are placed in positions of leadership prematurely, and/or without the necessary experience, training, and maturity to complement their role. Sometimes they are self-appointed and have an agenda to use others for nefarious reasons. This leaves those submitted to their leadership vulnerable to situations which can have devastating effects on a person’s faith, their relationship with God and ultimately their relationship with the body of Christ.
The bible warns us of those supposedly representing God but are not; “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves” (Matthew 7:15 NLT). The reality is, that in the end time church, there will be those amongst us that are misrepresenting God and are most definitely not displaying Godly characteristics.
2 Timothy 3:1-5, gives further insight into the attitudes and behaviours of people in religious settings, doing exactly what they please, not what pleases God. The warning being “to stay away from people like that!”
So how do we recognise unsafe situations or warn others that they are in potential danger? Matthew 7:16 tells us “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act….”. Leadership is not just about, spiritual gifts, talents, speaking ability, charismatic personality, the ability to raise large offerings or attract large crowds. It is about being submitted to God, having His heart’s attitude towards His people, the church, and humbly serving the body of Christ.
The reality is that in the church today, we will have to deal with those who are less than perfect, but God does not expect us to make ourselves vulnerable in situations that are spiritually abusive.
Satan has a specific agenda to separate people from the body of Christ, and what better way to do this, than to use the brokenness and unhealed areas of a person’s life to wreak havoc in the life of others. The results are often, broken fellowship with the body of Christ and/or a distorted view of the church.
In the book, I explore some of the warning signs that may indicate a religiously dangerous environment. I examine what the bible says about both Godly and false leadership. How scriptures are twisted to manipulate, dominate, and control others. When leaders sexually exploit those, they are leading, and the damaging effect of mishandling such delicate situations. Ways that Satan operates in some churches today, and the need be safely connected to the body of Christ.
I also share my own story of some of the spiritually abusive situations that God brought me out of, and what I learned along the way. Whatever pain a person suffers in church, God still has great plans for them on the other side of healing.
Colin and his wife Yvonne are happy to attend speaking engagements and host online meetings via zoom.
Please contact for more details and/or to join the mailing list to be kept updated about future events.
When Church Hurts by Colin Mason can be bought from leading online retailers:
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