When A Good Church Goes Bad

Recovering From Spiritual Abuse

Casey Sabella

When a Good Church Goes Bad tells the story of how a dynamic church, poised to reach thousands with the gospel lost its way and eventually crumbled under the weight of poor leadership decisions. This is also my story.

Joining the church as a teenager, I served first as a deacon and eventually became an associate pastor in this amazing ministry. We opened many satellites churches throughout the state, as hundreds of young people gave their hearts and lives to Christ. Weekly Bible studies and outreach activities helped many of these young people become responsible adults who impacted their neighborhoods. Many experienced extraordinary life-change.

As the ministry grew, we brought nationally-recognized authors and speakers to address civic center auditoriums where they spoke to thousands. Over a few short years, the church experienced unparalleled success.

During my fifteen years, I met and married my wife Patti while helping to establish new churches in five cities. In fact, my entire life – friends, family and livelihood – were completely wrapped up in helping the church grow.

Today, the property that once housed its headquarters and many other ministries, now serves as grazing land for horses.

How did this happen?

I will share with you the triumphs and heartaches as I watched the church I loved decline over several years. I will also share about my own mistakes during this process and the tell-tale signs I should have seen.

When a Good Church Goes Bad is also designed as a manual you can you use to assess the health of your own church. Here’s the thing: Every congregation has problems. In fact, the New Testament letters of Paul were written to address the normal obstacles every church encounters. By establishing sound teaching, Paul taught the Christians at Rome, Corinth and others how to fix problems that happen when humans act like humans.

Included with the book are additional worksheets and accompanying audio content to help you make wise decisions about your own ministry. You will discover whether you attend a church that has problems which can be solved or is the problem.

Today, Patti and I continue to serve in full-time ministry together with our four children and their spouses. Apart from pastoring, I am a writer, conference speaker and podcaster. You can hear these weekly podcasts at ministerstoolbox.com or read my blog at freshteaching.org

God did not create us to spend our lives serving organizations that fail to represent the life and character of Jesus in this generation. You do not have to put up with abuse or stay wounded after a negative church experience. Not only is there hope, but complete victory as you apply biblical solutions.

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