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  • Writer's pictureRichy Clark


Leading a ministry? How about a family? - Here are some values we aim to instill in those leading in our ministry environments that honor the will of those we are leading! These values will help many leaders avoid some of the pitfalls that may lead to wounding those we are leading or even spiritual abuse. (i.e. violating someones direct will in the name of God) ( You can download a .pdf version here for you or your teams. )


1. WE LEAD FREE PEOPLE TO FREEDOM: We learn to honor the will of others which helps us avoid common pitfalls of spiritual abuse. There were two trees in the Garden. God continues to give choices! God never violates anyone’s will, neither should we. We never use spiritual authority to command or control. Authority is used with permission, always. When practicing a need for correction or confrontation, we are always leading people to a choice. While choices may have consequences, we never use punishment as a means of control. We don’t put ourselves in between someone and Jesus. (as in “you better do what I say or I’m going to be mad…”) A repentant person doesn’t need to be punished but guided to restoration. We teach mutual honor and respect. Everyone gets to be powerful. Any “submission” to a leader is voluntary. We are relational in our approach to people and the Kingdom. The lowest form of leadership is positional. (Gen 2:9, John 8:36, 1 Tim4:12)

2. WE LEAD PEOPLE TO JESUS NOT OURSELVES: While there may be seasons of life for a new believer where we may say, “just do what I do..” our goal is always to lead people to a dynamic devotional life with Jesus Himself. We make co-dependent Christians when we over emphasize our role in their lives or use it as a means of control. Just as parents raise their children to thrive “in the real world”, we raise spiritual babies to thrive in their faith and do the same for others. We lead people beyond second-hand faith into a first-hand encounter. (Matt 28:18-20)

3. WE TRAFFIC IN UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Just as the Father unconditionally loves the world and His church, so we too are to be ambassadors of unconditional love. Our love should NEVER be on the line in our relationships. We do not withdrawal our love as a means of control. We do not act fearful toward those we’ve been entrusted with. While we need to practice healthy boundaries when appropriate, we never cut off a believer or use relational punishment as a means of control. We “keep our love on” at all times. We avoid labeling someone inappropriately with a “spirit” or psychological label as it may cause us to not see the person behind the problem. (Col 3:12-15)

4. WE PRAY FROM THE PROMISED LAND: We pray always as sons and daughters, never orphans. This means our prayer is always focused on the increase of God’s government with hope-filled promise and declarations. We never use prayer a means to correct the congregation or an individual. We do our best to avoid passive communication through prayer or prophetic words of any kind. We teach our people to not find fault, but to pray the promise! We use the scripture as the anchor and sails of our prayers! (Heb 4:12)

5. WE PARTNER WITH THE SPRIT FOR HEART TRANSFORMATION: While the law is the tutor to the Spirit, it is not the life of the Spirit or the destination of a disciple. Our commitment to heart-transformation means an ongoing commitment to ensuring we are creating environments where transformation is possible. Shame and fear driven behavioral modification may create an appearance of holiness, but leads people into further religious bondage. We don’t want an environment of shame where people hide, we want an environment of love that cast out fear and allows the Spirit to bring about genuine transformation. This is a tension we live in and evaluate our decisions by. Holiness is a result of grace, never a means to attain it. (Rom 12:2)


Richy Clark, Director LPC //

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON CHURCH CULTURE “Unpunishable” and “Keep Your Love On” – Danny Silk “Emotionally Healthy Discipleship” 2021 version – Pete Scazzero

“The Presence Based Church” Terry Teykl

“Ekklesia” – Ed Silvoso

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