Failure. It's a f-word of pastoral ministry. It's the worst fear, the deepest dread. "I'd rather be diagnosed with a fatal disease than fail," one candidate wrote on his psychological assessment. "Failure - that's just too far to fall," said another. I was fired in 2003. It was my greatest vocational humiliation. After serving a … Continue reading Too far to fall: The pastor’s worst fear – Failure
The little boy is terrified. Everyone is looking to him to lead, and he’s not sure he can. Tears well up as he folds his arms and starts rocking. Everyone is looking at me. His heart races. His jaw clenches. I hope I don’t pass out. His face burns with a fire that reaches up … Continue reading The myth of Narcissus and the hope of Redemption
(v. 2) Narcissism is not merely a psychological phenomenon. It's a theological one, too. It concerns how we speak of and participate in God's life. In the coming blog posts, I'm going to highlight how this impacts key doctrines and themes that are often used and abused by narcissists, especially narcissistic pastors, for the sake … Continue reading When Narcissism Comes to…Church Doctrine (Part 1 – Introduction)
I thought you'd be interested in this short tid-bit I'll elaborate on in the book. In nearly 20 years of counseling diagnosably narcissistic individuals and in two years of writing (in fits and starts!), I thought I had a pretty good grasp on definitions. That is, until I got the big green book, the Handbook … Continue reading When Narcissism Doesn’t Look So Grandiose – “Vulnerable” Narcissism
"It's like I was a frog in a slow-boiling kettle," she says to me, shuttering from the trauma of having to re-tell her story again. "I had no idea what was happening to me. I didn't like the person I was becoming - bitter, passive-aggressive, emotionally distant - but never before had I connected it … Continue reading so, you’re married to a narcissist and you want to leave him?
25 years ago when I was just getting in the seminary/church/pastor game, vulnerability was not a high value. Things have changed. But with a higher value on transparency, authenticity and vulnerability in the church, there is a dark 'flip-side' that we need to be aware of. Recently, I listened to the final sermon of a … Continue reading fauxnerability in the church: what is it? what do we do about it?
I was reading a description of my "INFJ" personality this week and it hit me again - I'm a mess. My head spun as a I read painfully true quotes about my personality type: You may become easily entangled and absorbed in how others are behaving or what they think of you. Due to their … Continue reading Why Writing on Narcissism in the Church is So Hard