Five Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Church

By Mike Fehlauer

1. Power positioning

There is certainly a place for biblical teaching on spiritual authority. But if a pastor preaches on this subject every Sunday, constantly reminding everyone that he is in charge, you can be sure that trouble is around the corner. In an unhealthy church, the pastor actually begins to take the place of Jesus in our lives.

2. An atmosphere of secrecy

When a church member surrenders to a system of control, the leader gives limited information to each individual, carefully monitoring each relationship. As a result, each member is only able to relate to other members based on the information he receives from the leader.

This way, if the pastor or church staff determines that one of the members has become a “threat,” they have a strategy in place to maintain the control they believe is required. Consequently the church can sever relationships when necessary and keep this process cloaked behind a veil of secrecy.

3. An elitist attitude

This deadly trait produces an “us and them” mentality. This is the church that believes no one is really preaching the gospel but them. Or at least, no one is preaching it as effectively as they are!

An elitist spirit discourages church members from visiting other churches or receiving counsel from anyone who doesn’t attend their church. If anyone visits another church, he is viewed as a dissident.

“Everything you need can be found within the framework of our group,” this spirit says, adding, “Everything you need to know, you will receive from the pastor and his teachings.” Consequently there is little respect, if any, for other denominations.

4. Performance emphasis

Opportunities to minister are abundant in most churches. Yet in a controlling church, these areas of ministry are no longer opportunities to serve. They become necessary in order to prove one’s commitment to the organisation. Whether it’s faithful attendance to worship services or working in some department, loyalty becomes the key.

Obviously church attendance is vital to our spiritual growth. But if we find ourselves attending church so we can win favor with the pastor or to earn his trust, then we have missed the point.

5. Fear motivation

When a pastor tells his congregation that those who leave his church or disobey his authority are in danger of God’s wrath, you can be sure this man is operating in a spirit of control. He is attempting to use fear as a carnal means of keeping people in his church.

The line usually goes like this: “If you leave our church, the blessing of God will be lifted from your life, and you will miss God’s will.” Another version says, “If you leave our church, you will be in rebellion, and Satan will be free to bring havoc into your life.”

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9 thoughts on “Five Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Church

  1. Excellent post, Andrew.
    Nice to see u back, i also spent two weeks in March serving the country. Free holiday camp with full board & food. Biscuits & combat rations included. 🙂

    #1876. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera on 19 November 2006 at 4:55 AM

    Reymundo, you’ve heard the term: “The Good, the bad, and the ugly.” Well, that is the church of man of today. Some are good, some are bad, and some are very ugly. Everything the Lord says is the truth. The church of man will not like what I am going to say, but I do not care! I am going to liquidate them, to the point. Many believe some of these churches are great, are righteous, but I tell you today, these churches will take you to Gehenna. Believe Me or not, if you stay in this type of a church you will be in Gehenna with your family and friends.

    Wise up! Get your nose into the Bible. Read the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit will show you and guide you. If not, well, you will see that wonderful place that I made for the devil. Don’t take these Words lightly, because Jehovah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth does not lie. We Love everyone, but We hate what is bad, what is ugly, what is not of God in man’s church of today. Their source of power is Satan, money, greed.

    They forgot about the Vengeance of God. You don’t go against God unpunished. God doesn’t turn His Head to look the other way. It is a shame that the leaders of man’s church have used My Words, My Guidelines for their greed. You can tell them and tell them and tell them; they won’t listen. They have hard heads, pointed nose that go directly to hell and nothing will stop them. The older one gets the more the realization becomes that life is very short. Why waste the rest of eternity in hell for a little money that won’t give you any happiness?

    Turn to Jesus, and I mean the real Jesus, the one that is in the Bible, not the one you preach. Turn to the Father, He is in there too, and if you look very hard, you will find the Holy Spirit. For We three are One. We three are in agreement. Nothing happens, which We three do not know. Man’s church cannot fool no one but themselves, and a few blind followers who like to be led my their nose, with blind folded eyes, stopped up ears, dancing feet that go nowhere, but to hell.

    There are no jokes in Heaven that are not of God. The things of Heaven are straight, pure, and clean. Don’t make a joke of God’s Name, for We three hear everything. The Power of Might, the Power of Earth, the Power of Heaven, the Power of the Universe all sits in the Hands of Jehovah, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    Wake up people! Stop listening to these so called preachers that have one foot in hell and the other foot in their bank. You will find nothing of God there. Turn away, turn away now! Seek the real Jehovah, the real Jesus Christ, the real Holy Spirit. Put your nose in the Bible and read and read and pray and pray. Seek Me with a true honest heart, and you will find the Holy Spirit. And you will find the true Jehovah, the true Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the true Holy Spirit.

    We welcome you. We Love you. We adore you. I hope you listened to this message because God does not lie, but God does correct. God does discipline those that need to be punished. Remember, Jehovah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the Holy Spirit are one. We cannot be divided. We cannot be separated. We are One, for ever and ever and ever. So be it! So be it! So be it! (over)

  2. Just send e-mail to Dennis to ask for a transfer letter.

    No, it is not a April Fools joke just send the e-mail before i read your blog.

    Everything happen for a reason, its OK. Did a lot of consideration also, may we all prosper in our walk with God, its been a wonderful 4 years..

  3. 1855. Prophecy given to Raymond Aguilera 7 November 2006 at 11:44 AM

    The Power and the Glory of Jehovah will always be. It will manifest itself to the people who follow My Word, who obey Jehovah, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. There is turbulence in the Body of Christ. There are people who have God in a box, who are legalistic, who have no love. Yet they want to dominate. They want to direct. They want to manipulate the Word of God, for pride, for money, for everything that is not of God.

    The end is before you. Those that are on the watchtower, that are ready, that have the oil for their lamps, will be received with open Arms, with Embraces and Kisses from your Heavenly Father. Well done good and faithful servants. You have obeyed to the end. But there are those that believe they have power. They like to dominate. They like to control the brothers and sisters. They do not even have the oil; actually, they do not even have the lamps. But yet they have placed themselves on God’s Throne. They belittle the children of God trying to use wisdom which belongs to the devil. There is turbulence in the Body of Christ, many will see it, many will hide from it, many will ignore it, but there is turbulence in the Body of Christ. You go through the Bible like a surgeon looking up every word, every letter, every comma. You might win the battle, but lose the war. What a Shame! What a Shame! What a Shame!

    Like I told you earlier Reymundo you are going to be a thorn in the side of the Body of Christ. They will hate you! They will despise you! Just like the prophets of old. The Body of Christ has no Power. They have disarmed themselves through greed, through self indulgences, through pride. Remember Reymundo, you are going to be the thorn that is going to shake and is going to rattle this Body of Mine. Be Strong, be Brave, be Wise. Like I told you before; close those lips, say nothing! God will do the talking. God will deliver the things He has promised. The Power and Might of God cannot be broken. The Glory of God belongs to God. Don’t worry about the wives I promised you. I have chosen them. I will deliver them. I will deliver the Power of God. I will correct. I will discipline.

    The Body of Christ is so confused. What a Shame! What a Shame! What a Shame! From the leaders to the followers your Father, Jehovah and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit has to correct, has to discipline, or they will all fall into the pit, the blind leading the blind. They lost the innocence of a child. They are going to rebel Reymundo, against you, against what they read. Do not worry – do not say a word, just do as I tell you and all will go well. I will send people to help you. I will send the funds you need to support your family, to keep the ministry growing.

    The Body of Christ is like a blister that is ready to pop and you are My Thorn, Reymundo. You are going to pop that blister and let the juices run where they may. Remember, do not worry about the women I send. Do not worry about the men I send. Do not worry about the funds I send. You just document My Words, place them on the internet, watch the Power of Jehovah grow, watch the Power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth grow, watch the Power of the Holy Spirit grow, for nothing can stop Me. The end is before you, the enemy is before you.

    The Body has to unite. They have to learn to love each other; they have to learn to get along with each other. All this bickering, all this fighting, all this discord, what a Shame! What a Shame! What a Shame! I want people to take Communion every day. I want them to pray at 3 and at 7. I want them to bring the Body of Christ together. I want them to help each other. Help the people in the streets. Tell the world that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is coming with the Power and the Might of the Holy Spirit.

    Remember Reymundo; don’t worry about these things I am going to give you. All will go well. There is an order that you do not understand and a method you do not understand, but take that step. Trust Me! Remember, My Words will not come back void. I can do what I want, because everything belongs to Me. Be Wise. Be Courageous. Be Strong. Do not be afraid of this new Path, this new Way that I am leading you. I know it goes totally against your way of thinking, but what is important is to obey your Father Jehovah, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    Keep those lips closed. Let Jehovah do the talking, let Jesus Christ of Nazareth do the talking, let the Holy Spirit do the talking. The devil knows what is happening. The Devil is frightened. I love you Ray. I love My Body. Everything will be corrected that needs to be corrected at the proper time, at the proper place. I am sorry to say that many of the leaders of the church of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that have turned to the way of man will not make it. I have spoken to them and spoken to them, but they cover their ears, cover their eyes and went and did their own thing. So be it! So be it! The vengeance of God is here. The Love of God is here. The Power of Power is here. So be it! So be it! So be it! (over)

  4. joe:

    Hey! It looks like we both served during the same time! Anyway great to have you back too =)

    Roger Caleb:

    Yo… we keep in touch ya…

    Blood is thicker than water, but Spirit runs deeper… brothers 4ever

  5. I think the elitist point is hard to communicate across and balance. On one side we don’t want to promote committal church memebers. At the same time, we also want to work as hard as though we are the only one serving God.

    But yet, I’m sure we are not the only church preaching the gospel. I think its seriously hard to put point 3 across to our people.

  6. We use to do a song when we were kids using our hands, ” this is the church, this is the steeple open the doors and see all the people. ” The church is people without people there is no church, only a building. The sign of an unhealthy church, lack of people involvement.

  7. The signs were right to the point. However I beleive the main problem of the unhealthy churches is power strugle and control.

  8. 35,000-60,000 denominations and nondenominations(Independed churches) all claim. Truth and say other church are fasle. Some practiced ecumamincal were diffrent churches unite for some chase. Either say I’ve seen Pastors insults their members in pulpits. The same ones will act like cowards to people who don’t care about Christianity. Authority* is a abusive word they use to control and maniplutae their flock. When you read your Bible. You realized the contridictions with the church system beliefs and the Bible. Most of these folks get kick out. Many Christians don’t read their bibles. Some spent 5 minutes or 15. Some 30. While pastors may spent the most. Still most people ask biblical questions. On certain subjects. They reply no answer. That shows their ignorance. While just a small rare do know their stuff. Yet these are the most hated and unpopular ones. The most popular like Benny Hinn and Paula White. Are fake obviously (by they way they both had sex) compare to the Bible examples. Many church members actions speaks up. If they hats you. And insult you. Humiliation isn’t a Christian thing. Humble is. These spiritual bullies cry when none-christians do harm. Yet they be cruel to their members. Pentecostals are wackos. They do things so opposite of Bible teachings.

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