In this episode of the Touchy Subjects Podcast, we delve into the sensitive topics of spiritual abuse, religious trauma, and church hurt. Erin shares her personal experiences and observations from her extensive work in various churches, shedding light on the need for change in church culture to create a safe space for everyone. The episode emphasizes the importance of education around mental health for church leaders and the necessity of building a more inclusive and affirming church culture.
Key Takeaways from this episode:
- Understanding Church Hurt: Erin clarifies that church hurt is not merely about petty disagreements but rather religious trauma and spiritual abuse, which affects many church leaders as well.
- Addressing Mental Health Education: The lack of education around mental health in theological programs is discussed, highlighting the need for church leaders to be trained in recognizing and supporting people's mental health needs.
- Volunteers and Staff Burnout: Erin emphasizes the importance of treating volunteers with care, providing proper training and tools to avoid burnout. She also addresses the issue of staff members being used and abused due to high production demands.
- Setting Healthy Boundaries: Encouragement is given to establish boundaries to protect mental well-being and avoid church hurt. Erin shares her personal journey of realizing she didn't have to tolerate abuse in her church position.
- Building a Welcoming Church Culture: The episode emphasizes the significance of a church being a welcoming and inclusive space for everyone, regardless of their background, gender identity, or sexuality. Church leaders are urged to foster a culture of kindness and affirmation.
- Embracing Change for a Better Future: To stop the mass exodus of people leaving the church, the episode emphasizes the need for churches to change their culture and become more accepting, encouraging, and open to questions.