You Might Be Giant Church Inc If…

When I first understood that my family and I experienced spiritual abuse at the church we left, I believed it happened due to the lack of accountability from a denominational membership. Or that churches who taught the prosperity gospel were the only ones prone to toxic leadership.

I believed Giant Church Inc was limited to a few places. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I never knew how widespread and common Giant Church Inc is within all denominations and kinds of Christian organizations. What’s more disturbing is that some refuse to see it, and worse…..some see it and don’t care.

For the Ones Who Want to See

This is for the ones who do care. This is for those who are trying to figure out if they’re part of Giant Church Inc.

  1. If you know more about how to stay fit and fabulous or how to get out of debt from your church leaders than you know about the stories of how Jesus interacted with the poor and outcast, then you might be part of Giant Church Inc.
  2. If the pastor of your church calls himself the CEO, you might be part of Giant Church Inc.
  3. If you and your friends feel more like giving or labor units who keep the place running, instead of fellow disciples learning to love God and others, you might be in Giant Church Inc.
  4. If gossip is a recurring subject of sermons throughout the year and questions, doubts, and healthy criticism are considered gossip, you might be part of Giant Church Inc.
  5. If there is an inner circle of pastors, staff, leaders, and highest bidders (I mean givers), you might be part of Giant Church Inc.
  6. If the pastors and leaders teach the umbrella of protection visual as a way to tell you about spiritual authority and the roles of men and women, you probably are at Giant Church Inc.
  7. If you’ve noticed high turnover of church staff, leaders, pastors, and members… might be part of Giant Church Inc.
  8. If biblical manhood at your church requires target practice, being humiliated by church leaders, giving thousands over and beyond the tithe, and an application fee to participate, you are definitely at Giant Church Inc.
  9. If you or anyone at the church has ever covered for a leader in any way, if you are told to keep secrets, hide the truth, or not talk about or ask why so and so left… might be part of Giant Church Inc.
  10. And finally, if your pastor has been featured on the Preachers N Sneakers Instagram page, you might be part of Giant Church Inc.

Fun But Serious

Sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves. This is an attempt to do that but in no way minimizes the seriousness of spiritual abuse and the damage caused by Giant Church Inc.

My hope is to point the Church back to Jesus Christ while educating us about toxic church and Christian organization cultures.

Jesus is the One we follow and worship. He’s the One who saves. Let us learn to be more like Him in how we live and love. May the pastors entrusted to show us the way in that be humble and courageous enough to do it.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

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  1. Bruce W. Martin on June 1, 2021 at 6:23 am

    Excellent post! Everyone should read these qualifications carefully. There’s way too much of this going on everywhere!

    • marieg on June 1, 2021 at 6:33 am

      You’re right. I could have added other characteristics of Giant Church Inc. Maybe this will become a regular feature.

  2. Glenn Mitchell on June 5, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Please make this a regular feature.

    You might be at GCI if members of church are so regularly labeled Jezibel and Ahab that your children start labeling their friends at school.

    You might be at GCI if your lead pastor has ever said these words to you “if anyone asks, you volunteered to help me with my book”

    • marieg on June 5, 2021 at 9:05 pm

      I think I will! And I’ll include reader’s input to the growing list of GCI characteristics. You’ve submitted two and I have two more. We’ll have another list of 10 new ones in no time.

  3. Erin on June 10, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    *You might be at GCI if children’s ministry is claimed from the pulpit to be their top priority and will always get funds approved before any other department but yet you’re only given $50 a month to spend towards pre-service games/activities and to buy supplies for small groups that average over 150 kids a week.

    *you might also be at GCI if staff know you only average 4 children’s volunteers (if you’re lucky) per a service while averaging 75+ kids in your second service but yet they all have to be seen sitting on the front rows for both services instead of stepping in to serve with the churches next generation who they care so much about. Instead the solution is for you to “recruit more volunteers” and build your team up under you, it’s your problem as the volunteer not the staff leaders.

    *which really leads to one of my favorite’s- the slide of leader vs manager – a leader is out in front leading his team and forging the path while a manager is in the back letting those under him do all the work while they do nothing. Be a leader not a manager is taught from the pulpit – but yet if you’re lucky enough to become an ATL (area team leader) you’re taught to get enough people volunteering under you that all you do is give them the responsibilities a staff member passed down to you to complete. But you’re also taught to wrap it in pretty words like “I think you would be great to take ownership of this” now you get to lead them from behind – same as you’re getting lead from behind – just like a manager.

    I think I could come up with 10 just from my years in youth/kids ministry. And I truly hate the word “ownership” now lol

    • marieg on June 10, 2021 at 8:13 pm

      I’m sorry you experienced that Erin. Thank you for commenting. I hope you’re able to find a place where you feel safe and loved, where the leaders not only point you to Jesus but lead a life of humble service caring for people the way Jesus did.

      • Erin on June 11, 2021 at 9:19 am

        It’s surprising to me how many churches we have in our area but how few there are that I could honestly say are “good ones” and are truly an open book. We’re in that processes and I know God is answering my heart desire for true missions and mission trips not the missions of building the churches kingdom in other countries.

        I still love the staff leader that was above me, I still consider her a friend – more so now that I can see how she was used by the main ones behind her who placed impossible task that she was to pass down to us to help create “the perfect church with the perfect atmosphere – where everything just seemed so perfect”
        It’s honestly hard not to laugh at some of the stuff that we all put up with and accepted but I will always choose eye rolls and laughter over anger or tears.

        • marieg on June 11, 2021 at 9:48 am

          In general, I think the church has lost her way, but there are those who are working to point people back to Jesus. We found a sweet fellowship and even enjoyed small groups there. But I haven’t been back since the pandemic. I can say for certain though that I’m nearer to Jesus than ever and I’ve found community in several places. Many prayers for you as you seek out a place that brings glory to God as it cares for and equips God’s people.

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