17 Signs of Trouble in Your Church You Shouldn’t Ignore

SharePinEmailChurch is meant to be a sacred place, fostering supportive relationships between members. But there are times when going to church may not be the positive experience you’d hoped for. For those people who are only newly going to church, it can be difficult to know what to look out for. This article will investigate…

Church is meant to be a sacred place, fostering supportive relationships between members. But there are times when going to church may not be the positive experience you’d hoped for. For those people who are only newly going to church, it can be difficult to know what to look out for.

This article will investigate some of the red flags you should look out for with a church.

Obsession With Money

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Religious leaders know all too well that even the Bible dissuades people from focusing on money as this isn’t good for the soul. Despite this, many churches will pressure their members to contribute financially, which is incredibly suspicious.

Controlling Religious Leaders

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Spiritual leadership involves the pursuit of wisdom, a form of sacred knowledge, and the intuitive understanding of how to be and behave for the best. So when church leaders become controlling or abusive, it isn’t normal and could be an indication that they’re abusing their position.

No Sense of Accountability

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Those at the head of the church have the authority to influence other people, but they shouldn’t take their role for granted. If they’re in the wrong about something or they’ve made a mistake and aren’t taking accountability for it, then this is a sign of hypocrisy and entitlement.

Emotional Manipulation

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It’s no secret that hundreds of priests hold positions of trust. Yet some religious leaders will resort to manipulative tactics such as guilt-tripping and emotional coercion for personal gain, simply because they believe they have the power to do so, which isn’t moral or just.

Sense of Superiority

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The Bible teaches us that mankind was made equal in the eyes of God, a fact that some religious leaders don’t take into consideration. If a church starts to pit people against each other, citing themselves as an elitist group, then they’re going against the very idea of religion.

Exploiting Vulnerable Members

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Churches are a sanctuary for many people, especially those who are going through a rough patch. Some churches will single out vulnerable members to exploit them for their own gain, such as to take money from them.

No Sense of Empathy

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Those responsible for ensuring churches operate effectively shouldn’t rule with an iron fist. Unfortunately, religion can be an important influence, generally for good but sometimes for ill. Some church leaders may withhold their empathy or love to feel like they’ve power over you, which shouldn’t be tolerated.

Withholding Information

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Every church should be transparent with its members, keeping them informed about the decisions they’re making and the policies they’re implementing. If a church fails to keep its members updated, this is a red flag, not just signaling that it’s the wrong church to be in, but also eroding trust in the process.

Prioritizing Image

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A church that’s too concerned with image and how it appears to the outside world is never a good sign. People go to church to heal, focus on themselves and become better people overall. This means that the church’s focus should be on helping their community, not on outward appearances.

Hiding Financial Matters

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As people who attend church regularly contribute to it, they have a right to know where this money is going. Many people have strong opinions on what the church should do with money as believe that grand religious buildings should be sold, and the profits used to help the poor. If religious leaders are unwilling to be open about where funds are going, this is a definite red flag.

Ostracizing People

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No church should exclude certain groups of people based on their identity as this goes against the core tenets of faith. Any church that encourages people to alienate others isn’t a good establishment as it promotes hatred over kindness and compassion, which isn’t what the Bible preaches.

Using the Bible as a Weapon

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Biblical teachings should be used in a church to complement beliefs and offer guidance to its followers. Despite this, many churches will wield the Bible as a tool to support their harmful practices and as a way to exercise control over their members, leading many people to lose faith altogether.

Downplaying the Importance of Mental Health

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Especially in today’s society, there’s a huge emphasis on mental health with these issues making their way into modern societal discourse. Churches that have genuine intentions will look after their member’s mental health and create a safe space for them. Still, with some churches, faith can get in the way of seeking mental health care as they dismiss psychological well-being and may make their members feel guilty if they speak up about it.

Crossing Personal Boundaries

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There’s an obligation for those running churches to maintain a level of professionalism in their role. If they’re frequently crossing your boundaries and prying into your personal life, this could indicate that it isn’t the right church for you.

Inability to Address Conflict

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All churches have a responsibility to call out specific members or situations if warranted. If spiritual leaders ignore conflict or actively try to distract their members from it, they could have an ulterior motive. Instead of promoting peace, they would rather let tensions brew.

Unwillingness to Adapt

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Over the years, churches have had to alter their approach to become more inclusive to different groups. If there’s a certain rigidity associated with your church, it showcases their unwillingness to adapt which can be detrimental in the long run.

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