Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse – Part 3D – Step 5, Overview. Dealing with Toxic Leaders Who Need Healing and Sick Organizational Systems That Need Repairing

Part 3 – Concepts, Questions, and Continuums for Building a Comprehensive “Remediation Plan”

Part 3D. Step 5, Overview. Dealing with Toxic Leaders Who Need Healing and Sick Organizational Systems That Need Repairing

So now we get to Step 5, overviewing a process for responding to “malignant ministers” and their toxic systems. In this Step, we’ll consider as persons of interest those who are undeniably spiritually abusive leaders who hold a significant level of control in a definitely toxic church, ministry, or non-profit. So, the question is not whether malady and damage are present, but to what degree and how stark our actions should be in dealing with them.

Keeping those “persons of interest” in mind, there are four specific layers for leaders in a system where both need “healing” – whether the need is only slight, very substantial, or in between. The first two Layers are for individual leaders who’ve been abusive. The last two Layers are for groups to deal with abusive leaders and the organization that’s been affected.

  1. How to determine the levels of personal growth and recovery needed by leaders who harm others, regardless of how gifted they are or how much they help others.
  2. How to identify what levels of peace-making are needed in personal relationships where a leader has caused damage.
  3. How to ensure individuals qualified for roles to lead the organization stay, when those disqualified should be removed, and when/if they should ever be restored to a former position.
  4. How to discern whether an organization that is toxic can be repaired, or should not even survive.

For each layer, I will suggest a four-segment continuum that runs from relatively healthy/intact to relatively unhealthy/deteriorated, and then describe the degree of damage and scale of recovery in each segment. I’ll suggest other do-it-yourself topics and tools along the way to help you work through the material and integrate it for yourself. We’ll start with the whole process first, to be followed by one post for each of the four Layers. (Hopefully that makes it more manageable visually and otherwise!)

You probably already have ideas about what needs to be done and such, from your own experiences and also the suggestions in Steps 1 through 4. Hopefully Step 5 will help your confirm and/or adjust your prior tentative conclusions, and explore more.

The Whole Chart

At the end of this post is a composite chart that covers all four layers of taking responsibility for spiritual abuse. [Click on the chart to view a larger version.] Maybe later I’ll be able to post a version that includes 16 “Gold Guy” illustrations, one for each box = four for each layer. I know that will especially help those who process visually, but I’m not able to get that done right now.

We will look at a few key ideas for each individual layer. However, I designed this to be mostly a do-it-yourself tool where you can apply what you learned from Step 3 especially, on the analogy of degrees of damage in physical maladies as relates to parallel problems with spiritual abuse.

Overview/Preview Questions

Scan the chart of Four Layers of Taking Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse. Keep in mind that this is followed by a separate post to go through practical issues in each Layer, so don’t worry if you feel you haven’t captured a lot of the details yet. I’m providing this first glimpse mostly to help those whose learning styles are such that they benefit from starting with a big-picture perspective on the transformation process – that’ll orient them to the details better. Here are seven lines of questions to see what sparks integration and imagination …

  1. What generally catches your attention in this chart?
  2. Are there particular words, phrases, ideas, and/or images that stand out to you? Why do you think that is?
  3. Which Layer happens to be of the most interest to you at this time, and why?
  4. What responses do you have from seeing the series of four images in each Layer?
  5. How about the series of descriptions in each Layer?
  6. Do you notice anything that seems like it should be included, but isn’t? Or does it feel like a relatively comprehensive process?
  7. What questions does this raise that you hope get answered in the follow-up detailed looks at each Layer separately?
Step 5 Overview ~ Four Layers for Taking Responsibility for Dealing with Toxic Leaders and Sick Systems

Step 5 Overview ~ Four Layers for Taking Responsibility for Dealing with Toxic Leaders and Sick Systems

Here are links to the entire series on Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse: