I didn’t know what to expect and was a little nervous when I walked in a restaurant yesterday to meet with four strangers that I had met online. Recently, we all joined an online book launch team for Chuck Degroat’s latest book When Narcissism Comes to the Church. These four strangers began to feel like long time friends as I listened to them share their own painful stories of abuse suffered in a place where they had believed they would find hope.
Though each of our stories are different, we all have one thing in common, none of our lives will be the same after having experienced narcissism in the church. The fallout of our experiences has brought each of us tremendous loss. For some of us it has brought loss of jobs, fear of the unknown and fear of saying too much. Others of us have had to leave our homes and friends to start over in a new community.
To see what others do not see, is an isolating experience. Those unaware of the narcissistic patterns are on the outside looking in and only seeing the results of a magnetic personality that is able to get things done. Their abusive tendencies are often well hidden until someone goes against what he or she wants to do. As long as we are going along with their plans, we are an extension of themselves. We are made to feel needed and special. But once we go against them, we experience their wrath and the wrath of others who are still in their circles.
Another fallout from narcissism in the church, is many who have been effected by this leave the church and do not come back. There are too many reminders of the abusive cycles that we do not want to be a part of again. Others have continued to stay in the church and work diligently to bring awareness to the issue and attempt to bring change.
What I appreciate most about Chuck’s book is he offers the opportunity for the hope and healing from the system of narcissism that is in so many ministries today if there is a willingness to look at the problem, seek professional help, and be honest.
I am thankful to have met four strangers that I can now call friends. I am also thankful to know that I am not alone.
If you are in ministry, I cannot recommend Chuck’s book enough to you. If you are a survivor of narcissism in the church, this book will bring clarity, compassion, and healing.
My Amazon Review
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2020
“The title of this book may initially draw one’s attention and cause them to think it is another attack on the church. The title is fitting, because this is the reaction many of us have received when we have recognized this sickness in a religious environment and brought attention to it. This book is not intended to bring harm to the church, just as survivors of this type abuse do not intend to bring harm to the church when they expose it. They are sick of the secrets, the confusion and pain and long for the freedom Jesus promised when we know the truth. That’s what this book is about, too. When narcissism comes to the church and the truth is brought into light many times those in a position to make decisions on the church’s behalf are ill equipped to deal with the problem. As a result, the fallout of abuse exposures can even be more painful than the actual abuse. This book is a book of hope and healing for the church and other ministries. It is a book for survivors of narcissism and for those who struggle with narcissistic behavior. It is really a book for all of us. It is a book that helps us recognize the signs and safeguard ourselves and others from disaster. It is a book for true shepherds. It is also a book that brings the darkness to light in the church and in our own hearts. I take great comfort in Chuck’s words that God is not afraid of the darkness inside of us. Our willingness to invite Him into it promises healing and transformation. It is a book of tremendous hope. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!!”