Jim’s Blog

Jim usually writes one article per week on his blog.  The articles concern church conflict, pastor-centered conflict, the forced termination of pastors, current church issues, or personal thoughts on a variety of issues.

Jim’s blog is at We welcome your comments and questions!

I Pledge to Protect My Pastor

The following pledge is taken from Jim’s book Church Coup: A Cautionary Tale of Congregational Conflict.  The pledge is consistent with New Testament principles for the way God wants us to treat Christian leaders and fellow believers.

1. I pledge to protect my pastor by consistently praying for his walk with God, his family life, his personal life, his leadership challenges, and his teaching ministry.

2. I pledge to protect my pastor by knowing and practicing what the New Testament teaches about interpersonal and ecclesiastical conflict.

3. I pledge to protect my pastor by defending his life and ministry whenever others speak negatively of him in my presence.

4. I pledge to protect my pastor by insisting that anyone who complains about him go and speak with him directly.

5. I pledge to protect my pastor by always choosing to believe the best about him.

6. I pledge to protect my pastor by contacting him directly on those occasions when he has offended me in some fashion.

7. I pledge to protect my pastor by regularly praying for those to whom he accounts and for those who account to him.

8. I pledge to protect my pastor by regularly attending worship services, serving with my spiritual gifts, and giving generously of my income.

9. I pledge to protect my pastor by insisting that any charges made against him be addressed in a manner consistent with Scripture and our church’s governing documents.

10. I pledge to protect my pastor by reporting to the pastor or governing board any knowledge I may obtain concerning possible attacks against him or the church.

Recommended Books on Pastor-Church Conflict

The following books deal with church conflict from various perspectives.  Some authors write from a more mainline denominational approach.  Steinke uses family systems theory which can add much insight into a church conflict situation.  Haugk’s book includes far more Scripture than any of the others.  The books by Greenfield (who experienced a forced exit in his final church) and Rediger deal specifically with congregational attacks on pastors.  All are available through Amazon.

Creech, Chris.  Toxic Church: Why the Church-Pastor Relationship Sours and the Simple Biblical Solution. Rainer Publishing, 2014.

Crockett, Kent.  Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack Their Shepherd. Prattville, AL: Kent Crockett, 2012.

Dobson, Edward G., Speed B. Leas, and Marshall Shelley. Mastering Conflict & Controversy.  Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1992.

Greenfield, Guy. The Wounded Minister: Healing from and Preventing Personal Attacks.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2001.

Haugk, Kenneth C. Antagonists in the Church: How to Identify and Deal with Destructive Conflict.  Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1988.

Leas, Speed B. Moving Your Church through Conflict.  The Alban Institute, 1985.

Maynard, Dennis.  When Sheep Attack!  Booksurge Publishers, 2010.

Pinion, Gary L. Crushed: The Perilous Side of Ministry.  Springfield, MO: 21st Century Press, 2008.

Rediger, G. Lloyd. Clergy Killers: Guidance for Pastors and Congregations under Attack.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.

Shelley, Marshall. Well-Intentioned Dragons: Ministering to Problem People in the Church.  Vol. 1, The Leadership Library. Carol Stream, IL: Word Books, 1985.

Steinke, Peter L. Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What.  Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2006.

Wickman, Charles A. Pastors at Risk: Protecting Your Future, Guarding Your Present.  Peoria, AZ: Intermedia Publishing Group, 2011.


Download: Keeping Your Church Healthy
Download: Conditions That Create Conflict

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