The following statistics were posted on a site called Pastoral Care Inc. After looking at the figures, it becomes obvious that pastors and their families are also being victimized by a performance based system of religious obligation. As pastors are pushed, they tend to push back and, as a result, the people in their congregations are also victimized.
Since my experience with spiritual abuse, it's been hard to relate to pastors and accept them as brothers in the Lord. Often, when in conversation with one, I can feel myself shutting down. That's not right and it's not fair. They're not the enemy.
Connecting with former pastors who have left the system like Wayne Jacobsen and Darin Hufford and hearing about their struggles while in the system has helped me to see that pastors may be some of the biggest victims of this system. Caught in the middle of a system that requires more and more performance from them and a people who have never been allowed to mature, the pressures on pastors can become unbearable as these statistics show.
My hope is that I can grow to the place where I see pastors as fellow strugglers on this journey who need to know that God's love for them isn't based on their performance. He just loves them because they're his.