On today’s episode, I have an interesting conversation with my favorite guest, my husband Steve Bock about toxic church culture

-Warning signs your church is becoming toxic

-The danger of putting church leaders on pedestals

-The importance of knowing the difference between your calling and your desire

-What happens if you lead your church as a micromanager

Related Podcast Episodes:

Personal Story of Spiritual Abuse and Chronic Pain with K.J. Ramsey, M.A.

Making Church a Welcoming Place for People with Mental Health Struggles with Dr. Steve Grcevich of Key Ministry


Carrie: Welcome to Hope for Anxiety and OCD episode 92. I’m your host, Carrie Bock, and if you’re new to the show, we are all about reducing shame, increasing hope, and developing healthier connections with God and others. Back a few episodes ago, on episode 89, we had KJ Ramsey come on, talk about her story of spiritual abuse and how she and her husband left a church situation that was really unhealthy, where they were both working there.

And I was thinking about that episode and processing, what are some warning signs, maybe, how do we know when ministry crosses this line from healthy to toxic? And I brought on the show back. On the show again, my amazing husband, Steve. Steve, welcome to the show. 

Steve: Hey, it’s good to be here. 

Carrie: Everybody forgive Steve. He’s a little bit under the weather today, but he’s making sacrifices for me and is super supportive. In this podcast journey. You and I have been involved in various ministries. We also grew up in a context of our families being very involved in various ministries. I actually wrote all these, but I thought it would be good to get your feedback on it.

And what you’ve seen experienced and what your thoughts are on this. I have five different things that I came up with on when ministry becomes toxic.

1. You’re justifying sin in the name of ministry.

For example, sometimes people will say, well, I just really believe that God is asking me to leave my wife and go have a relationship with this other woman, and obviously that is in complete contrast to the Bible. Anything biblical Or maybe it’s kind of not to that drastic level there, but someone you’re attracted to or you find yourself sharing things maybe you shouldn’t about your personal life or your marriage, and it’s getting to be some kind of slippery slope, but you’re saying, “Oh, well, you’re justifying it. This is a person I’m ministering too, and I need to be the one to minister to them because I have the relationship.” Have you seen this? You don’t have to go into specific examples of how people have justified sin in the name ministry. 

Steve: I have, I won’t say names cuz I don’t want to offend anyone, but I have seen that and it’s difficult because I don’t think that God’s going to tell somebody, Hey, leave your wife and get with this other woman that would kind of go against what the Bible says. He wouldn’t go against himself. That just wouldn’t happened. I don’t know. That’s a really tough area. I have seen that and I’ve seen people leave the church because of it. So the downside of it is terrible. 

Carrie: We’ve both survived our share of moral failures, ministry, and fallouts. People that had to resign or got fired, and it’s just a tough situation for sure. Whenever that happens, these are kinda warning signs, not for people who are involved in ministry, but also if you see this happening in the ministry that you’re with. That’s why we’re wanting to talk about it today.

2. You’re using a ministry position to receive validation and admiration from others that you aren’t getting elsewhere or didn’t get in your childhood. 

Steve: I think sometimes people, there’s your calling and your wants and desires and it’s great if the two all, if all that goes together, if God calls you to do something that’s also what you want, that’s wonderful. But sometimes I think there are people out there who they really want to be a pastor.

They like the idea of it, they like the prestige of it. They like something about it and they do it all in the name of, “Yeah, I’m called to do this.” But sometimes you wonder without being judgemental, are they called or is this something that again, they’re just, they like the concept of it. I don’t know if that fits what you’re saying.

Carrie: Yes and I’m curious your perspective on like this is somewhat a weakness for men. I think more so than women like this need for admiration. Not that women don’t need that at times in validation, but for people to look up to them, I would say that’s more of a male need than a female need. 

Steve: Sure.  Absolutely, and I’ve known pastors who they really demanded that respect and you should respect your pastor. But I don’t know, sometimes the context of it made it difficult. 

Carrie: I think there’s this balance between we don’t wanna put someone on a complete pedestal because at the end of the day, they’re still a human being and they still have human struggles like we all do. But I think that is a very dangerous thing that can happen in ministry situations is where we elevate people almost too much and it’s interesting because I had a pastor share one time with the congregation that he was on LinkedIn and God really convicted him about being on LinkedIn because he realized that he’s like, this is for people who are looking for a job.

I’m not even looking for a job. But he was almost like kind of getting this little high over people, like recommending him and the connections he was able to make on there. And that was just an interesting realization that he had and was able to kind of get himself in check and go, okay, I don’t even need to be on this website right now cuz it’s contributing to something that’s unhealthy.

And I think for ministry you really have to dig deep and examine your motives. You’re giving a sermon or a talk, and you don’t get positive feedback. Do you feel still satisfied? Like, okay, well I did what God wanted me to do, or do you feel disappointed because you didn’t get like that? That pat on the back or that kudos of like, “Hey, you did a good job.”

Steve: Sure. I’ve seen where, and I’ve even had a pastor long time ago, he had an altar call, said I felt like God said, have this altar call and no one came forward. And he said once again, three or four times the music’s playing. And after like 15 minutes I’m thinking, I don’t think anybody’s gonna come up.

But that’s not my call. That’s not my place. And I guess you wait as long as it takes for maybe that one, I don’t know. But afterward, he was so beaten up by it and he says, I don’t even know why I bothered. What was the point of that? And I remember thinking, you don’t know what God’s gonna do in somebody’s life, so they didn’t go forward.

That doesn’t mean you didn’t reach them. I think it was really easy for them to kind of get their ego hurt a little bit. I’m not a pastor, but I would think for a pastor it would be really easy for your ego to get in the way and think, look at how many people I’ve saved. I do an alter call and all these people come down and look what I’ve done and just it gets to you.

I was at a leadership conference a couple years back and the guy who’s a pastor, I think that was leading the conference had said, if you’re a pastor, especially if you’re a pastor or in leadership, you have so many people coming to you with their burdens and you have so many things that you’re trying to lead and delegate and just you’re trying to be that sheperd.

If you don’t have a therapist, and I think you probably agree, if you don’t have a therapist in your life with that amount of pressure on you and all of that you’re dealing with, it’s very easy to let that ego get no way, to let the problems bring you down, sort those things out, because otherwise you begin to take over and you push the spirit out of the way.

Carrie: That’s definitely huge. It’s so hard because it’s kind of slippery slope that I try to work with people on this, okay, well you don’t wanna be in this extreme of, “Whoa, I’m a sinner, I’m a horrible person, and how could God even use me?” You’re completely on one side of the thing. I do believe that we can have confidence in Christ and in what we are called to do.

I think it’s who do you give the credit to? Where does the credit go? And even how you say it, I get kind of nervous, I think like you do when church is focused too much on numbers, because it’s not really about that. If one person got saved, there’s a party in heaven, that’s awesome. But churches, a lot of times, you know, we had 1000 kids at VBS and 50 of them made a decision for Christ. And I’ve already cheered and we’re all excited, but I just almost wish that they would say, we really saw some kids that were impacted by the gospel and we did have some kids make decisions and we’re following up with them and making sure that this is something that’s gonna stick. And they weren’t just doing it because their friend wanted to or anything like. I think that some of the numbers, games and things can kind of feed into the ego. I see this podcast as my ministry, and even in the beginning I was remember being kind of frustrated or just not frustrated as much as just feeling kind of lost because I wasn’t really getting any feedback.

I was kind of like asking for people to contact me, and I was like, “Okay, what’s going on? Am I doing this right?” But obviously, like over time I’ve gotten that feedback and I do know that. It’s making a difference and people are appreciating it. Especially definitely the things that we talk about with kind of a strong clinical focus and having a strong Christian focus that it’s making a difference, but I have to be able to step back and say, This podcast is reaching so many people because God has allowed me to have it, and because God is the one that’s bringing them to be able to hear it, and he’s done just amazing things and done the work and put a lot of pieces together in order for this to happen. And  that I’m trying to stay in a place of humility because as I’m studying and doing this deep dive into Isaiah, there’s a lot of information in there about pride. The dangers of pride and how it can essentially lead you to down a negative path and destruction. It’s not good. So that’s something that I think especially ministry leaders can fall into.

Steve: And I appreciate that you don’t let that get your head, that you don’t go around. Hey everyone, I’m a podcaster with your pinky in the air and your nose up and putting others down who are not podcasters or not as good as you or not as whatever, but you take a very humble approach and I appreciate too something you said that you went to others to ask them questions. And I know that you do that. I know that you ask, Hey, how can I do better? What would you think of the podcast? Or would you listen to it or whatever. I appreciate that. I think that’s healthy. Cause you’re not trying to do it all on your own. And sometimes we get thoughts in our heads that we’re better than we are.

And I hate to put it like that, but I think we get that idea and we take the credit of what God’s done, but we take it. It shouldn’t be that way. So I appreciate the concept of, look at what God has done. 

3. You’re only studying the Bible in order to teach it to others.

Carrie: Your quiet times with the Lord are all about preparation for a Bible study, teaching time, you’re not really taking that time to examine your heart. Seek confession for your sin, apply the word for yourself. I can tell you, Steve, this is one I’ve been guilty of in the past for sure. 

Steve: Sure. And I mean, I think everyone has, if we’re honest, and I think the best leaders are the ones who are honest.

The ones who say, guys, I’ve messed up, or I’m not where I need to be with the Lord. I’ve got the series figured out. I’ve got the sermon figured out. But you could talk all day long behind a podium or behind a mic or what have you, but people are at some point, they’re going to recognize your walk and who you are.

They’re gonna begin to see the difference between what you did and are doing versus what God is doing through you. I think it has to be God doing it through you. 

Carrie: And that connection to the Holy Spirit and what he wants you to share is important, but it’s, you can have to preach it to yourself first before you can teach it to anybody else.

I was thinking about a pastor, I’m trying to figure out how to explain this, but essentially due to being in college, I was in one part of Florida at one point and another part of the year becuase it was summer or Christmas break or whenever. I was in another part of Florida and I heard this man who was part of this denomination preach the exact same sermon twice and I thought, Hmm, this must be something he can have passed in a file cabinet somewhere. And he just kind of pulls it out and this is like my top 10 sermons and I think I’m gonna utilize this one. And it caused me to be like, there’s just something that feels really inauthentic about that in terms of making sure that you’re bringing what God wants you to bring.

And I could be judging this completely, inaccurately and he could be praying and connected to God and feels like that’s what God wants him to share. But I just thought, I just don’t know about that. I mean, to the point that it was the same sermon, there weren’t really answers on it, and I was like, “Wow, this is very interesting.”

4. You could be delegating responsibilities, but you’re not because you feel the need to be in control or to be the one to get it done. 

Carrie: This is one that we’ve definitely talked about this in the past.

Steve: Yes. That, I think as someone who’s, I’ve got a lot of pastor friends and I think that’s probably one of their biggest struggles.

They know the direction of the church somewhat. There’s a direction in their mind. And to relinquish a duty to someone else, to let someone else do that, I think is very difficult. It’s hard. I, know pastors who may want to be in charge of the music, what’s going on in small groups and to the point where everything that’s said is controlled.

And I think that to me, I’m struggling because I don’t wanna hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t wanna call anybody out on your podcast here. I don’t think that would be right, but I just think that they have the best of intentions. I just think sometimes you might wanna pray about that and see if God put this person in this role, and I think God’s in control.

God can show them what he wants in you and what he wants in that small group for that whatever God has to control the foil. I think that’s the best way to say it. 

Carrie: Yeah. 

Steve: And you can’t paddle all the little boats going the same way, if that makes sense. You can’t control everything. You can’t micromanage it all. God doesn’t need micromanagers, he needs leaders. 

Carrie: And the reality is we’re supposed to be living in community and thriving off of other people’s strength. When a ministry leader or a pastor identifies like, “Hey, this piece is not my strength.”

Steve: Sure. 

Carrie: And I need to hand that off to somebody else who’s going to do a way better job because that’s more in their spiritual gifting. And that’s just so important. 

Steve: And sometimes I think that the person that should be doing it isn’t even the most qualified, but the most called. 

Carrie: Yeah. 

Steve: And if you’re trying to control things, you get in the way of that. So a good example, if you open your Bible and you look at the story of David and Goliath. David certainly wasn’t the most qualified to sling that rock. There’s no way. 

Carrie: Yeah. 

Steve: He was the smallest guy. We know that story most of us. So if the bigger guy, the more qualified person, the more whatever would’ve slung that rock. It wouldn’t have worked out the same, but David did it and it won the day.

And I think you have to look at your church whatever it is the same way. Whatever you’re leading, I think you have to see it thesame way. Don’t look at it solely as you gotta be in charging and no one else can do it, or I gotta have this person because they’re way more qualified even though they don’t have the time or the want to do it. And then you got this other person who doesn’t seem as qualified, but they got a heart of God for it. Pray about it and let them do it. Let it go.

Carrie: I think we were just talking about pride, and for me personally, I feel like when I’m in that space of thinking, I can do it all myself or I should do it all myself.

I don’t need anybody else to do this. To me that’s pride, and I’ve certainly been guilty of my sense of trying to control things and we have to be able to know when to let things go. Especially, this is so crucial for preventing burnout in ministry. It’s easy to get into that place. And there was something that happened at a previous church where I was asked to take charge of something and that was gonna take a lot of time. I said, “let me think about this. Let me pray about this. I’m not saying yes or no right now.” And I went down. I went back and I wrote down, okay, here’s everything I’m doing for the church and this ministry. And I said, “Okay, well if I’m gonna take on this other role, then some of this stuff needs to come off my place,” which was great because it allowed other people to get involved who had kind of been sitting on the sidelines a little bit, and they wanted a task. They wanted more involvement. Mm-hmm. , they wanted more connections, so it was just a really great opportunity. Whereas we grew the ministry in the sense that we added people that were serving and.

I didn’t get burnout and I was able to get some things delegated. Also, some things probably that I wasn’t as passionate about as this project, where I was pretty passionate about that project. I think that’s just a good example of when this can work out well for us. We talk about in churches all the time, what is it? 20% of the people do 80% of the work.

Steve: I’m just thinking about that. That’s funny. You got your 80-20 rule. I think that sometimes the 20% do it every single time because I don’t know if it’s [00:18:00] because they’re the extroverts that stand up to do it, or if the 80%, a lot of them just aren’t asked to do it. They’re just waiting for someone to ask them, which doesn’t make them right, but maybe they need a little nudge. “Hey, I’ve got something. I want to entrust it to you.” It would be a good way to start that. I think on pastors, it’s a hard thing. I do have to give them some credit. In the past, I was a manager before and I’ve led other things, and it is easy to ask the same person all the time to do the same stuff because you know that they can do it. But in ministry, that’s not necessarily how that should work. God calls us, we have to do it. 

Carrie: Yeah. And ultimately not sustainable for that person. I have had experiences in the past where, . I recruited some people for different tasks and at first they were funny like, I don’t know if I can do that. And I was like, well, these are the skills that I’ve seen that you bring to the table.

You have some of these things that you’re doing in the context of your work, or you’ve been around the church a while, and so you have this level of being a Christian for a while. You have this level of experience and knowledge, and so forth. Sometimes people do need that little extra push of encouragement to get more involved and end up really enjoying the service in the ministry over time, once they can get in there and get their feet wet a little bit.

People have two different perspectives. There’s some people that go, I have to do this because if I don’t do it, nobody else will do it. And then on the completely opposite side, you have people who say, they don’t really need me, they’ve got this kind of under control, and I’m not really needed over here.

Steve: Yeah. And ther,e’s that side too of similar to what you’re saying, where people will say, I’m too young to do it or I’m too old. I really hate to break this news to you, but there is no retirement plan in church ministry. It’s just, well, maybe there is, but when God calls you to do something, I don’t care if you’re five years old or 99 years old, you do it.

Carrie: I think my grandmother has been a good example of that through the years and when my grandfather died, she got involved in helping other widows as they were grieving the loss of their husbands thought that was kind of a beautiful thing about how she used that experience to help other people who are in a really sad place.

5. Your ministry doesn’t value rest.

Carrie: Sabbath rest is definitely biblical. We see more pastors taking sabbaticals and we just need this rest to become mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Have you seen some ministries? 

Steve: Oh my goodness. 

Carrie: That didn’t value rest. 

Steve: Yes. Not to interrupt you, but Yes.

I had one youth pastor one time that I knew that said, if I don’t do this, no one else will. And if I stop now, it’s all gonna fade and go away. I’ve put too much work into this to stop. I just finally said, listen, if you don’t stop and get the rest that you need, even Jesus rested, right. If you don’t stop and do that.

Hey how are you hearing God? You’re putting all your time into doing the work. 

Carrie: Yes. That’s huge. 

Steve: And how are you getting the energy up to continue? You become your own worst enemy. You’re just going through the motions, but you’re not listening to God and you’re not resting to get the energy up. It’s not a healthy thing to me.

Carrie: Definitely seen situations and was in a a smaller church context and had really kind of challenged the pastor. When do you get a Sunday off? Who’s able to preach for you? Kind of what’s going on. And I think a little bit of pushback of need to be here, need to be involved. And then later there was some other leadership that pretty much kind of forced some time off, I think, which is healthy

It’s just we need that time away, [00:22:00] not just to recoup, but also to know. I think that the walls aren’t gonna fall down when we’re not there. I feel like that’s really crucial for leaders to know if you raise up other leaders under you in your ministry as you should. You should be able to miss a Sunday and it not crash and burn or fall apart.

You don’t need to be the glue that’s holding this whole ship together.

Steve: It’s a leadership position. It’s not a dictator type position where only you can do it and you tell everybody what they’re doing. God put you in charge of a flock. So help the flock, help them grow and listen. And when there’s an area that’s struggling, your job as a leader isn’t necessarily to fill the void.

It’s to help someone else grow into that void and fill it in a lot of cases there too. Like I said earlier, I don’t think being a pastor or a leader in church, it’s not easy. I think it’s very easy to fall into that, what we’re talking about today, those problems where you’re trying to do everything and you’re taking the [00:23:00] credit for it, like we talked about earlier.

But I think you have that some point, step back and ask yourself, what’s God doing and what am I doing and how much can I step out of that and let God step in? And I think it’s at that point you’ll find things are gonna go a lot better with your church or your program or your whatever. Because you’re letting God do it, not you. We always fail.

Carrie: We’re so results driven in our society. We wanna put the effort in and see the results. And what I’ve learned over years of ministry, not just in church, but in counseling situations, is there times where you’re going to follow the Lord and you’re gonna put in the effort and you may not always get the results out that you’re wanting or that you’re hoping for. And the obedience is the important piece, 

Steve: Right.

Carrie: That I would go back to, did you do what God asked you to do?

Steve: Yeah.

Carrie: At the end of the day, can you rest and say, regardless of how the results came out, did I do what God asked me to do today? And if the answer is yes, then it’s okay. You can move forward, and I talked about this on the podcast before with my friend Sarah Slade.

They brought on and we had an EMDR chat, but we were talking about when we were working in community mental health and we were going into homes and working with children that just had very severe emotional behavior problems. We’re getting kicked out of school, all kinds of things happening. Going to juvinile detention. I know there were days that I went home and just felt like, oh my goodness, I did nothing worthwhile today, . I drove around in my car and I talked to some people, but I didn’t really make a difference or I wasn’t able to help these people, but I had to come to a place where it couldn’t all be about me, obviously, because I was only one piece of the puzzle in this child’s life, and so I couldn’t put all that pressure on myself to make those things happen and to make those results happened. But also I had to step back and leave room for God and others. 

Steve: Yeah.

Carrie: To be involved in the situation, to get parents on board, teachers, whoever else was available to support these kids and adolescents. I think what we’re talking about, there’s gonna come like a tough time in your ministry if you’re in it for a long time. There’s going to be a season where it’s not easy or it’s not enjoyable. 

Steve: Absolutely. And I think if you’re focused on the amount of people in the seats over what the people in the seats are doing, as in how is God using them, you’ve kind of missed the boat. You may need to go back and they have a heart check.

When you stand before God, I don’t think he’s going to say, all right, pastor or leader, how many butts were in the seats? I really don’t think that’s gonna be the focus. I know that for me, looking at my own life, one big decision that I made for ministry was to go into mission work. And what got me there was a little church.

It wasn’t the church that was huge, it was the church that small. Now that’s not putting down the big churches. I’m not saying that, but that little church was more interested in where my heart was at, and that was the growth they were concerned with was my own personal growth, not what’s coming out my wallet and not what’s. 

How many people can I bring to church? Cuz we need a bigger church and let’s see if we can have this many baptisms and this many salvations. And those are all good things, but the focus shouldn’t be solely driven by numbers like we were talking earlier. So I think it’s important to check a person’s heart. Where’s that person’s heart at? What are they leading by? 

Carrie: Steve, is there anything else you would add to this list? Is there anything else that we didn’t cover that you think you might add of what’s kind of a warning sign or red flag of ministry potentially becomes toxic?

Steve: I think when a pastor or a leader, they can’t relax. They can’t be one of the group. I used to have a pastor that every single week he invited people over to his house. That’s a big deal. And it was a big church too, but he always invited people over and said, you know what? If we don’t have enough food, we’ll all chip in and get McDonald’s, whatever we gotta get.

But I want to have fellowship in our church. If you’re not coming to my house, take some months somewhere. Spend some time with your own family too. It wasn’t about going out to eat every single Sunday. It was more about time together. That was huge to him. I think that’s missed a lot of time. We work so much on the administrative side or the perfect sermon or the whatever, that we actually forget that there are humans out there that just want to grow as a community with us.

So I would say relax, let your guard down. Let them see your flaws. That’s the best way to have growth, is to be transparent and to let them see what you can’t do and haven’t done. And then what can be done. Down the road as you grow as a person. And I think that those following you, those in church would probably grow even more because then they would say, well, the pastor’s transparent.

I guess maybe I ought to be as well. Transparency and relax. Those are my things I think, and I would add to that, 

Carrie: you know, it’s hard I think for pastors and other ministry leaders to be transparent if they feel like there’s these really high expectations of them. 

Steve: Sure. 

Carrie: I think there has to. A give and take a supportive congregation environment for them to be in where they feel like it’s safe and it’s okay to say, Hey, let me raise my hand and say, I struggle with this too. Or I’m eradicating sin outta my own life through the help of the Lord, and this is how I’m doing it. These are my weak spots and these are things that God is working with me on. The pastor job or ministry leader job is kind of hard because you need to be able to have those good communication skills while at the same time having the relationship skills.

And so sometimes there’s an imbalance between. The ability to study, communicate, the intellectual side of things, and the ability to have like a warm touch and greet people be empathetic and compassionate. Sometimes it’s hard to find a balance between those two things because both are essentially important.

Steve: Sure. Absolutely. Those things. If a pastor leader, what have you, if, if they are honest and open about things and they have. People that are around them that will hold them up to that level and let them know, Hey, we’re praying for you. Or, Hey, you are a little harsh here. And I don’t just mean the pastor’s wife or the leader, spouse, whatever, but I mean having a group of people that will really, truly hold you accountable in those situations that you see, things you wouldn’t have seen on your own.

Your pride gets in the way or whatever, but to be called out a little bit in a nice loving way, not a, Hey man, you stink. Just quit. Why don’t, no, not like that, but in a loving way, say, I think maybe you handled this a little harshly. I think that helps to have those people there. 

Carrie: Being open to feedback is a very healthy trait to have for sure.

In ministry and in life. I have a good friend. That I meet with once a week, who always appreciates when I give her feedback, whether it’s on herself, is how she’s interacting with her business or on her business. This is what I think of when you say, is that what you mean? Or I’ve noticed you have this pattern.

What’s going on with that? And she’s like, thank you, because I don’t have other people who are willing to really be honest with me, and I appreciate your feedback. It’s helpful. Well, thank you for joining me on this episode. Even when you on a day, you don’t feel the greatest , and I was wanting to think of if we had any stories of hope to share.

I don’t know if you have any ideas, me or you or us. 

Steve: I think one that comes to mind, I felt my situation. Now I don’t drive, I don’t get out nearly as much, but I felt called to do some sort of a small group. Something and we’re involved in a small group already, but something that would allow me to feel useful and be a good tool, it’s, it’s not all about me.

We decided via Zoom or what have you, to do a small group where individuals like myself could sit from home assuming they feel up to it. You don’t have to drive anywhere. You don’t have to go anywhere and connect online. And we could talk to one another and we could do a study. And if you can’t show up, you don’t feel well, you can just text back and forth or email us or whatever.

“Hey, this is where I’m at.” It’s a guy’s group and it’s been good timing for us and it’s, it’s small and I’m okay with that. If it’s just myself and one other guy, that’s fine. There’s actually a few of us that are in it. Thus far, only me and one other person, one other guy, have really shown up, and that’s okay because we talk through text, we hold each other accountable.

We have a topic. It’s everything you would want in a small group, really just not your traditional small group. It’s an odd fit in a way. It’s an odd situation. We don’t do the traditional thing. We’re not going to one another’s houses or things like that, but we don’t get to go out much or often. So it fits the need, and I feel it’s been a question like, how do I serve?

How do I do that? I thought, gosh, this does feel hopeless, because I can’t be dependent upon as easily as I used to be. I can’t just show up somewhere and say, all right, I got everything together, or have the energy for this long study. It’s kind of have to take it day by day, moment by moment. These guys are in the same situation, so it works out perfectly. A small example, but it’s kind of a big deal for me. 

Carrie: No, I think that’s definitely great that you’re able to keep some healthy social connectedness and male accountability and things like that even within your current situation. Thank you everyone for tuning in and listening today to just kind of talk through some of these warning signs, and maybe you’d have one or two that you might even add to this list.

This was just something that I came up with quickly and I was glad to be able to talk with Steve about it since he’s had a good share of time in ministry situations as well. You can reach us anytime at hopeforanxietyandocd.com.

Hope for Anxiety and OCD is a production of Buy the Well Counseling. Our show is hosted by me, Carrie Bock,a licensed professional counselor in Tennessee.

Opinions given by our guest are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of myself or by the world counseling. Our original music is by Brandon Maingram. Until next time, you maybe comforted by God’s great love. For you.