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Addictive Emotional Process:
Key To Understanding Your Church
Thomas F. Fischer
- Number 338
Perhaps the most frequently asked question Christian leaders ask is, "Why?"
- * Why do people act the way they do?
* Why does anxiety play such an important role in the success of the church?
* Why do people suddenly turn away from relationships and betray?
* Why cant organizations and leaders ever seem to move beyond the
* Why is it that if weve never done it that way before, theyll likely never be
able to ever do it?
- The reason for these and other mystifying quandaries may be simple. Its simply
addictive emotional process at work.
- The Key: Emotional Process
- Perhaps the most important perspective for leaders to understand organizational behavior
is emotional process. Over the past decades church leaders have been directed to go from a
"program" perspective to a "process" perspective. This was a first
- A second step was the introduction of Bowen family systems theory. Of all the things
that Bowen theory espouses, one of the key contributions is to recognize the
emotional processes in families and organizations. Rabbi Friedmans insights in From
Generation to Generation took this one step further by applying it to ecclesiastical
- This article suggests a more specific third step: identifying and describing the nature
of the emotional process all too often found in dysfunctional churches. That process is an
emotional process fueled, fostered and foisted by a specific emotional process: Addictive
- Indicators of Addictive Emotional Process
- Counselors, consultants and conflict mediators specializing in addiction-related
counseling deal with indicators of addictive process regularly. What many pastors and
church leaders dont knowor recognizeis that they do to!
- Without an
understanding of the indicators and behaviors signs of addictive process, one can
experience remarkably mystifying pain and a conundrum of apparently conflicting
phenomenon. Frustrated, the unmistakable indicator of the presence of emotional process is
often the painful "Why?" of conflict.
- In order to gain insight into the kinds of behaviors indicating emotional process,
perhaps the best paradigm is the alcoholic family. Those families characterized and
influenced by alcohol demonstrate several predictable roles, each role having a particular
set of behaviors typical of addictive emotional process.
- ACoA and ACDF literatures have referred to anywhere from 4-6 (or more) family roles in
families. At its simplest level and for the sake of understanding addictive emotional
process, these roles can be reduce to two basic family roles: active and passive.
Regardless of how many different roles can be identified, emotional family systems all
haveand requireactive roles ("The Dominant Addict") and passive
roles ("The Passive Codependent").
- The Dominant Addict
Sometimes referred to as the "Hero" in Adult Child of Alcoholic literature,
perhaps the key indicators of the Dominant Addict emotional process include:
- 1) Dominant Addict. These members, typically a parent (though not
necessarily so), is the one who "calls the shots." He or she often demonstrates
the presence of one or more addictions or compulsive behaviors. These behaviors, as in any
addictive family, necessitate other family members to alter their personal preferences,
behaviors and values
or else face rejection. and
- 2) Passive Codependents. These family members, whatever their family
role (e.g. scapegoat, loner, mascot et al), are marked by their essential dependence on
the Dominant Addict. Passive codependents, like Dominant Addicts, are driven by fear. The
main difference, however, is that the Dominant Addict uses the fearful threats to control
passive codependents. Passive codependents, overwhelmed by the fear, attenuate
by giving up their own identities and fusing to the will of the Dominant Addict.
- Part I: The Dominant Addict
- Dominant Addicts include individuals from every walk of life. Whether the addictive
agent is a substance (alcohol, drugs, etc) or an activity (work, hobbies, etc), the
dominant addict will be marked by the following behaviors:
- * Narcissism ("I am the best")
* Lack of self-differentiation from what they do
* Instant-gratification oriented
* Extremely dominant, pushy and demanding
* Insensitivity to individual needs
* Impulsive and unpredictable in their needs, wants and demands
* Given to irrational outbursts of anger
* Relationship messages vacillating between extremes: One moment they can be the most
caring individual; the next moment they may go to the exact polar opposite
and possibly abusive extreme
* The are extremely controlling, distrustful, insensitive, and demanding perfection from
* Will hardly ever give commendation or approval to others for their hard-earned efforts.
After all, whatever someone else does is never perfect.
* Require that everyone else give up their identities, values, and preferences to help
them get whatever they want for themselves.
* Disavowal and/or destruction of those who would deny them of what they require, demand,
or need to maintain their addictive emotional process.
* Demand that others around them maintain the fantasy-based façade which enables,
supports, perpetuates and escalates the level of influence of their addictive emotional
- Dominant Addicts are in a chronic state of denial. In their view there is nothing wrong
with their behaviors, attitudes and emotional process. Common denial behaviors include
scapegoating, projection, fight/flight, passive-aggressiveness, etc.
- Dominant Addict In The Family
- Within a family, the Dominant Addict can be male or female, head of the family, a child
or sibling. Within other larger social systems (including the church), the dominant addict
can be the pastor, staff, or lay leaders, elected or non-elected.
- Dominant Addicts may exert "positive" influence or "negative
influence depending on the specific bent of their addictive emotional process.
"Super-Pastors," antagonists, individual "movers and shakers," and
extremely high commitment personalities in the church are some of the personalities which
can exemplify dominant addict emotional process.
- The Common Denominators
- Whatever the addictive agent or agents (addictions tend to be multiple in nature), there
are at least two unmistakable common denominators in virtually all dominant addict
- 1) The first common denominator is a lack of self-differentiation. Unable to nurture an
autonomous sense of self-esteem, they strive to find a sense of self-worth from their
environmentpeople, tasks and things.
- 2) Closely related to this first common denomination is a second common denominator:
multiple goal confusion.
- Multiple Goal Confusion
- Multiple goal confusion is a phenomenon which describes the state of individuals who are
unable to separate their self-esteem from their social goals and their task goals.
Dominant addicts are unable to maintain a healthy, autonomous sense of
self-esteem. Instead they confuse these external social and task goal achievements in
unhealthy, undifferentiated ways.
- The resulting self-esteem is based almost exclusively on externals. If they are
successful in tasks and relationships, they erroneously believe they are "good."
If they fail in eitheror anyof these areas, they erroneously and automatically
believe they are failures.
- Multiple goal confusion perpetuates two key elements of addictive emotional process.
- First, it results in an ever-increasing insatiably addictive need for external
affirmation for themselves from others; and
- Second, it results inand necessitatesan insatiable, obsessive
Jesus addressed this unhealthy self-esteem base. "But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20 NIV). Those who put their
trust in externals and base their self-esteem as described by unhealthy addictive
emotional process have two options:
1) Steal the self-esteem of others for themselves or,
2) Change the base of their self-esteem toward God.
- In this sense addictive emotional process truly is a spiritual issue in the most
- Combined Effects
- The combined effect of a lack of self-differentiation and multiple goal confusion
results in a woefully unhealthy lack of self-definition. Combined with a tendency to
confuse goals and relationships, this results in the dominant addicts tendency to
seek, by any means possible, fulfillment of their addictive emotional process.
- Since their own efforts and achievements do not satisfy, they seek fulfillment of their
insatiable, addictive need for approval from others. This requires that they habitually
disregard others' personal boundaries.
- Prying for information, pushiness, being controlling, perfectionistic judgmentalism,
busybody-ness, and habitual triangling are but some of the indicators of addictive
emotional process at work. The more intense the level of the dominant addicts
emotional addictive process, the more demanding, controlling and perfectionistic
they will be toward others...irrespective of the cost or consequences.
- Authority Figures: Are They Vulnerable?
- Since those in positions of authority and esteem are perceived to have higher levels of
self-esteem needed to perpetuate the dominant addicts emotional process, they direct
their energies towards such individuals. For dominant addicts, to have self-esteem is to
have someone elses self-esteem.
- The catch however is that in order to get this self-esteem they have to "suck"
the self-esteem from another and make it their own. To the extent that esteemed leaders
are not well-differentiated and also prone toward participating in addictive emotional
process is the extent to which they may be vulnerable to the dominant addict emotional
- The Real Problem: Not The Dominant Addict
- This means that the problem with antagonists is not the antagonist in and of themselves.
Instead, the problem is that the esteemed leaderwhether pastor, staff member, lay
leader et alis participating in the dominant addicts emotional
process. The anxiety, fear, feeling threatened, etc. which leaders feel when antagonism
takes hold is an indication that they are participating in this emotional process.
- Well-differentiated leaders, on the other hand, find that as long as they distance
themselves from the addictive emotional process, they are able to maintain a non-anxious
stance, their self-esteem, and the fulfillment of Gods calling and vision through
them. Things may not go as planned. But, whatever happens, the healthily
well-differentiated leader has an endurance and resiliency which markedly raises the
anxiety of dominant addicts.
- This may result in resistance and attacks on the well-differentiated leader which are
virtually totally unsolicited. The problem is not what the well-differentiated leader does
that causes increased anxiety in dominant addictive process; its the dominant
addicts insatiable demand for self-esteem from external sources which must, to be
attained, target and destroy others whom they believe can provide even temporary
- Are There "Good" Dominant Addicts?
- Whether protagonist or antagonist, "helpful" or "destructive" to the
organizations goals or values, the important thing to mark about this process is
this. The dominant addict has such an insatiably addictive need for affirmation that they
will stop at virtually nothing to fill their "black hole" of need.
- Dominant addict emotional process is almost invariably locked in this emotionally
painful and unhealthy state. Recovery from this addictive emotional process requires
facing the fear, giving up control, humbling oneself and, in spiritual
the profundity of Gods unconditional grace for them. It is this grace which makes
them children of God. This grace also makes them aware of what Jesus really meant when He
said, "The Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:11).
- Confronting the Dominant Addict
- Confronting the dominant addict is virtually always difficult. It can also be dangerous.
Yet this confrontation is the "stuff" of a ministry in the prophetic tradition
of Scripture. Denial mechanisms are often virtually impenetrable and the highly-perfected
result of a life-long process of refinement. Whether the individual is
"positive" or "negative", neither will readily admit their addictive
- This is especially true in religious contexts. "Super-Pastors" and
"hyper-dedicated leaders" may turn a deaf ear and give a harsh word to those who
compassionately try to address their addictive emotional process. So do their negative,
Part II: The Passive Codependent
- Equally unhealthy and damaging are passive codependents. Because they are passive, they
are not immediately seen as "damaging." Indeed, congregational members and
leaders frequently confuse "love" with "unhealthily enabling
codependency." This is how conflicted churchesand specifically conflicted
churches with a long history of serial pastoral removalssee themselves: as
"loving churches." They are anxiously "stuck" in an addictive
emotional process perpetuated and enabled by passive codependents.
- Passive codependents participate in this emotional process for much the same reason as
the dominant addict. They lack self-esteem. They are marked by multiple goal confusion.
They compulsively seek validation outside of themselves.
- Unlike the dominant addict who aggressively maintains addictive emotional process by
wresting it from others, the passive codependent maintains their addictive process by
willingly sacrificing all their goals, relationships, vision and themselves to satisfy
their addictive need for affirmation. In this way they complementand feed
oneach others addictive emotional entanglement.
- Whatever the dominant addicts means of controlintimidation, interrogation,
"poor me," or remaining aloofthe passive codependents insatiable
addictive need for affirmation and validation for self responds in the affirmative. They
give their all to the dominant addict at virtually any and all costs.
- This virtually irresistible compulsion for self-sacrificeto the point of
annihilationis demonstrated in unhealthy relationships in marriages, in
families and, of course, in organizations including the church.
- Organizational Results
- Though these dynamics are always present as long as addictive emotional processes are
present, they are more obvious at higher levels of conflict. Speed Leas, noted for his
"Five Levels of Conflict," noted how conflict dynamics qualitatively change
between Level III and Level IV.
- Whereas at Level III conflict dynamics still have a "rational" component, at
Level IV, rampant emotionalism virtually drowns out any possibility for the rational. Thus
it is at Levels IV and V that one comes face-to-face with the ugly dragon of addictive
- In what ways does this mutually-sustaining emotional dynamic "play out" in
organizations? Below is a listing of some of the ways in which this occurs.
- 1) Resistance to change
- "Weve never done it that way before" is not merely a
"maintenance" mindset. Its one of the key indicators of unhealthy
addictive emotional process at work. The addictive nature of the emotional process is such
that it requires a steadyand predictableflow of dominant and passive
codependent energies. Any perceived disruption of that process threatens both the process
and its primary raison detre: to provide an unhealthy illusory
substitute for healthy autonomy.
- To those entrenched in addictive emotional process, introducing change is like taking a
pacifier from a baby or, more appropriately, the regular, predictable source and enjoyment
of alcohol from an alcoholic.
- 2) "Yes-Man" Compliant Behaviors
- One of the most common challenges for divorced codependents leaving an abusive
relationship with a dominant addict is to develop and healthy, autonomous self-esteem. For
yearsand sometimes decadesthese individuals have been compliant to the demands
of the abusive spouse. Amazingly, they often note that they "didnt know"
they had the power to say "yes" or "no." This is true even when they
experienced extreme physical abuse.
- It is only after a healthy intentional recovery process has begun to take root that they
begin to escape the blindness of the addictive emotional process from which they came.
Resultantly they begin to evaluate their painful past on the basis of more rational
not on an addictive dysfunctional emotional process marked, among others
things, by denial.
- 3) The "sudden" eruption of conflict
- Codependent process is marked by an inability to talk, trust and feel for itself. When
combined with the ever-present addictive need to have their existential anxiety satisfied
by fusion to a dominant addict, the result is that they feel whatever the dominant addict
wants them to feel.
- It is said, "When momma aint happy, no ones happy." In much the
same way, when the dominant addict is anxious, everyone is anxious. Codependent passivity
then fuses codependents to the dominant addict. They ride the same roller coaster.
Wherever the dominant addict goes, they will go. This dynamic will remain constant until
there is a change in the addictive emotional process and/or any individual within that
- In long-established churches, this codependent passivity can be entrenched and persist
over multiple generations. Once firmly ensconced in the organization system, it can be
virtually impossible for Godand human interventionto remove.
- 4) The proliferation of "non-issue" issues in conflict
- A curious and strangely irrational dynamic of higher levels of congregational conflict
is the emergence of non-issues.
- Pastors in congregational conflict frequently experience this. Nit-picky criticisms such
as "The pastor doesnt smile enough," "The pastors shoes
werent polished," "The pastors sleeve on the preaching robe was dirty," "The pastor isnt friendly enough with
children," "The pastor came to the hospital in the afternoon instead of the
morning to visit my mother" are just a sampling of "non-issues" criticisms.
- The reason for these criticisms is not the stated issue. The reason is to ventand
maintainaddictive emotional process. (cf. Ministry
Health #20 "The Issue Is Not The Issue."
- 5) Unfair Projection of Blame To The Pastor
- Blaming others for issues which are not "really" issues and other such
unwarranted, exaggerated accusations are specifically part of the addictive complex. It is
a form of denial, specifically, projection.
- Projection maintains addictive behavior and the required equilibrium by directing
anxious energies which threaten the system toward an external object of blame. The content
of the blame is not really important. What is important is that the addicts anxious
energies are effectively removed from the addict.
- Projecting blame on authority figures and specifically pastors serves at least two
- First, as a denial mechanism it prevents outside energies from disrupting the
addictive interplay of roles.
- Second, it serves as a source of additional external source of self-esteem
"capital" for the dominant addict. This gives an added "rush" to the
- Since dominant addicts and passive codependents share the same ultimate self-esteem
base, they will readily fuse together as common forces. As partners in addictive fusion,
they will seek one main goal: continued affirmation. This affirmation is the
"capital" or fuel needed to maintain the addictive system.
- 6) Painful Exposure Of Pastoral Vulnerability
- In general, authority figures have the highest levels of affirmation
"capital." In the church, the best and most abundant source is the pastor. This
plays out in two ways:
- Pastors en route to experiencing remarkable ministry success and those
ministering in a declining setting are both very vulnerable prey. Either extreme is marked
by anxiety. By means of attackingand destroyingthis pastor the addicts gain
affirmation capital needed to maintain the equilibrium of their addictive system.
- The most vulnerable pastors, of course, are those who are also enmeshed in an unhealthy
addictive emotional process. This includes those who lack healthy self-differentiation,
who are anxiously attached to their church, workaholics, and those perfectionists driven
to get affirmation, acceptance and recognition to support their self-esteem via their
- Those pastors who exhibit the above characteristics will be vulnerable to face deep
pain as they experience the emptiness and futility of ministry efforts directed to
satisfying ones own weak, unhealthy, and misdirected self-esteem.
- A dedicated, sixty-ish parishioner was asked,
- "Why didnt you enter the
- "Because I didnt want to have to face my issues," he
- The ministry does require that sooner or later, we face our issues.
Experiencing the ever-present dynamics of addictive emotional process virtually guarantees
that every pastor will have this experience.
- 7) Individuals inexplicably transferring to "contrarian"
- This external validation can be powerful. It helps to explain why those apparently
disagreeing with a philosophy of ministry in congregation will transfer to another
congregation which specifically practices the philosophy of ministry which they had
- When this occurs, it may be an indicator of addictive emotional process. These passive
codependent individuals have simply moved the source of their addictive process from one
congregation to another.
- Having found another dominant addict in a pastor, staff member,
or lay leaders (whether protagonist or antagonist), the "issues" become
irrelevant. Once the emotional process is restored to equilibrium, nothingnothingelse
- 8) Unwillingness/Inability To "Own Up" To Ones Actions
- It is virtually axiomatic that those who start trouble are the last ones to acknowledge
responsibility for it. Again, denial mechanisms are at work. They deny the obvious, the
factual, the essential and undeniable. On the other hand, they affirm, invent, twist and
even fabricate "fantasies" to affirm their own position. Again, as irrational as
it may appear, this process is readily explicable. The explanation is found in the
dynamics of addictive process.
- 9) Highly Reactive And Unstable Relationships
- Extreme conflict often re-arranges relationships in some very strange ways. Some are
predictable. Others are, to say the least, surprising. What also happens is that these
relationships are inherently unstable. Those whom have befriended the pastor in very close
ways will sometimes flee to the opposition or betray the pastor. Sometimes this represents
a complete reversal of stated positions.
- A possible reason for this is that the pastoral support was based on unhealthy
connections purposed to reduce anxiety. When the pastor becomes the focus of anxiety, the
pastor is no longer able to serve the anxiety relief function. Instead, the pastor may
even increase the anxiety to intolerable levels. Thus the friendship breaks
all because of anxious emotional process.
- A word of warning: Watch out for fused relationships, including those which are
presently supportive. Driven by the need to reduce anxiety, these relationships live and
die depending on the unpredictable changing winds of anxiety. Count on
characteristic of fusion-based relationships.
- 10) Clergy Sexual Misconduct
- This tendency toward unstable relationships also may lead to a loneliness which may be
related toward seeking inappropriate intimate relationships. In this context clergy sexual
misconduct is an indicator that the offending pastor is enmeshed in addictive emotional
- In this role the clergy either fulfills the addictive codependency of the partner
as a dominant addict or seeks fulfillment of passive codependence through another.
- 11) Short-Term Focused
- The nature of addiction is that it is highly resistant to long-term consequences.
Indeed, blindness to long-term consequences is a form of denial. This type of denial
blocks the awareness of the long-term consequencesand hence the painof any of the
- Even if the consequences are clearly explained and outlined in black and whiteand
repeatedlythe outcome will remain the same. They simply dont understand.
Indeed, they cant
until they gain awareness of and desire recovery from their
addictive emotional process.
- 12) Inability To Build Spiritual Momentum
- Whether one is trying to get the congregation to be directed toward a vision, working to
create a momentum for ministry growth, or trying to get individuals spiritually involved
in the congregation, those dealing with congregations plagued by addictive emotional
processes will find the going difficult if not virtually impossible. The resistance
experienced can give rise to chronic pastoral ministry frustration, spiritual depression
and, perhaps most significantly, a pervasive sense of self-doubt.
Recognizing the addictive emotional process can not only help give possible reasons for
the ministry challenges one faces. It can also help one to avoid unnecessary self-doubt
and loss of ministry passion. Most important, perhaps, is that the recognition of
addictive emotional process can lead one to get a healthy perspective by which to
evaluate, plan, and lead the people of God.
- Societal Regression
- Unless recognized and confronted, the combination of dominant addict and passive
codependent addictive behavior escalates a destructive emotional process which ultimately
leads to what Bowen calls "societal regression."
- The greater the dependency on the dominant addict (whether "Hero" or
"Villain"), the greater the propensity for an increasingly anxious emotional
process. This increase anxiety will result in a higher degree of unhealthy fusion.
Unstopped, this unhealthy fusion becomes the seed of organizational self-sabotage.
- Perpetuated over time, anxiety-based fusion perpetuates all kinds of destructive
dynamics found in dysfunctional, conflicted churches. It is this fusion which stops growth
- Implications For Your Ministry
- First, the "bad" news. Given the presence of emotional processes in
congregational life and the emotional systems which maintain and undergird the
organization, congregational leadership is, at best, precarious. At worst, its
- Its most hazardous for change agents. Organizations dont change their
emotional systems overnight. The more entrenched they are, the greater the likelihood of
highly developed and successful defense mechanisms to maintain the system.
- Whenever one tries to change the entire organization at once, one might feel
"successful" for a time. That is, until all hell breaks out. Multitudes of
remarkably successful and effective ministry growth initiatives have been decimated by
anxious addictive emotional processes.
- Endeavors to bring individuals into recovery from dominant addict or passive codependent
behaviors are equally precarious. In either case, recovery can only happen if their
unhealthy anxious base of self-esteem can be replaced with a non-anxious, autonomous
- This renewed sense of healthy self-esteem cannotand must notbe based on some
short of shallow positive "feel good-ism" philosophy. Such philosophies simply
substitute the external bases of self-esteem from one dominant addictive practitioner to
another. The final result is that the addictive dynamics are perpetuated with the same,
unhealthy end: I can be happy because of some external event or person to provide this
external sense of validation.
- The bestand onlysource of this healthy self-esteem is in a proper Biblical,
evangelical understanding of "grace."
- The "Good" News
- The "good" news is that the prescription for recovery is specifically in the
Gospel, the "Good News" of grace. Scripture is given for "doctrine,
and instructing one in righteous living (II Timothy 3:15). As
such, it is directed specifically to those enmeshed in the addictive, sinful emotional
process inherited from Adam and Eve.
- Shame, fear, denial, and the unhealthy yielding of self-esteem for externalities are
root evidences of original sin. They are also key pillars of addictive emotional process.
This emotional process leads to those things found in Romans 1, the works of the flesh in
Galatians 5, and other sinful excesses found in Scripture.
- A Broken Heart
- One might suggest that David, in Psalm 51, reflects on his own recovery from addictive
emotional process. As dominant addict he succumbed to sexual addiction with
sought the fulfillment of his self-esteem through externals. His affair with Bathsheba and
his murderous abuse of her husband, Uriah, may well be indicators of his addictive
- Davids confession and recognition, "A broken and contrite heart, O God, you
will not despise" (Psalm 51) are words of one who is broken. Davids
addictively driven emotional process result in the inevitable legacy of both dominant
addict and passive codependent: self-sabotage and self-destruction.
- When this occurs, those who open their hearts to God begin a process of recovery, rooted
in a penitent confession of brokenness before God and others. This, and this alone, is the
specific focus of intervention in individuals and congregations dominated by addictive
emotional process. (Note: Ministry Health has
numerous articles dealing with spiritual "brokenness." Please check the
site search engine).
- Brokenness: A Scriptural Key
- This intervention requires an authoritative view of Scripture. It requires a Gospel not
watered down by unhealthy intrusions or adaptations made by those trying to shape God and
His Word to their sinful, addictive process. It requires a preaching of the Law and will
of God which stirs hearts into recognition, contrition and confession.
- By the same token, it requires the preaching of the plenary profundity of the
unconditional immeasurable grace of Jesus Christ. This understanding goes far beyond a
simply "academic" perfunctory confession, "I love Jesus." Instead, it
goes to the very heart of experiencing the "new treasures" of grace (Matthew
which characterize the hearts and confidence of those who recognize "the
God is within you" (Luke 17:21 NIV).
- Christian Ministry: A Tilt Toward Recovery
- Whats needed? A new paradigm for the church which showcases the entire
Scriptures--Law and Gospelas essential tools for healthy, spiritual recovery. Some
organizations are, alas, recognizing the necessity of a "recovery-oriented"
ministry. It can appear in an informal pattern such as Willow Creek et al. Historically,
it has occurredand still occursin the traditional liturgy of the Church.
- However it is found, the focus of worship and ministry must always be on
recoveryspiritual recovery...personal spiritual recovery. The focus is on
recovery is essentially the "stuff" of revivalism. This focus on spiritual
recovery must consistently preach deliverance from the bonds of the rampant dysfunctional,
anxious, addictive process in our world and in Christs Body, the Church through
Jesus Christ alone.
- Whats The Goal Of Your Ministry?
- Given this goal of ministry it is apparent that any other focus of ministry is not only
unhealthy; it is sinking sand. Attempts to simply relocate a church, add new programs,
increase ministry staff, engage in fundraising et al without the central, predominant
focus of recovery may have within them the seeds of self-sabotage and self-destruction.
Whats the focus of your ministry?
* Is it oriented to programs or to hearts?
* Is it dependent on and driven by a dominant addict or to it's real Head, Jesus
* Is it directed to a specific vision or goal or to changing the hearts of individuals?
* Is it driven by increasing the externalities or by a passionate, unquenchable
("addictive") passion to conduct a ministry of personal recovery?
- God gives all His ministers the "keys" to the Kingdom of God. Perhaps its time
for us to use these Scriptural keys in the way God intended: to bring about broken and
contrite hearts to the goal of Kingdom recovery. Thats the kind of healthy,
spiritual emotional process that God does not despise!
- Thomas F. Fischer
Index Articles 1-49
Articles 50-99 Articles
100-149 Articles 150-199
200-249 Articles 250-299
Articles 300-349 Articles
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was revised on:
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:04:44 PM