Bully Pulpit

Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church

by Michael J Kruger

On Sale: 2022-11-08

Book Summary

Spiritual abusers are Christian bullies. And high profile cases of pastoral bullying are only a small portion of this widespread problem. Victims suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn. We need gentle shepherds now more than ever, and in Bully Pulpit, Michael J. Kruger reveals how to spot spiritual abuse and how to handle it in the church.

About the Book

Are churches looking for the wrong kind of leaders? The last decade has witnessed a rising number of churches wrecked by spiritual abuse--harsh, heavy-handed, domineering behavior from those in a position of spiritual authority. And high-profile cases are only a small portion of this widespread problem. Behind the scenes are many more cases of spiritual abuse that we will never hear about. Victims suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn.

Of course, most pastors and leaders are godly, wonderful people who don't abuse their sheep. They shepherd their flocks gently and patiently. But we can't ignore the growing number who do not. We have tolerated and even celebrated the kind of leaders Jesus warned us against.

We need gentle shepherds now more than ever, and in Bully Pulpit, seminary president and biblical scholar Michael J. Kruger offers a unique perspective for both church leaders and church members on the problem of spiritual abuse, how to spot it, and how to handle it in the church.

"Every Christian from pulpit to pew needs to read this wise and timely work."
- Karen Swallow Prior

"Both urgent and timely."
- Sam Storms

"Thoughtful, wise, and biblical."
- Mark Vroegop


'I have been waiting for a book like this that I can assign for my seminary courses on abuse. Michael has brought much needed clarity and wisdom to the devastating reality of spiritual abuse. Michael's perspective as a Bible scholar and seminary president is invaluable. He brings church leaders face-to-face with the destruction abusers cause. He does this to help us take spiritual abuse seriously, to foster the motivation to enact real change, and to fill us with compassion for those who suffer from abusive 'leaders.''

'Learned and wise, urgent and timely, biblical and hopeful--this book deals with a sensitive topic with enormous skill and care. I can think of no better book on the subject and hope it will be read widely.'

'Michael has written a courageous book for such a time as this. I pray he is a prophet who is accepted and welcomed in his own country, particularly within a Reformed and Presbyterian community not immune to this pervasive plague within the church.?'

'Spiritual abuse is one of the greatest stains on the bride of Christ today. Too few with pulpits and platforms are willing to recognize the basic truths that Michael Kruger addresses clearly, convincingly, and biblically. I thought Bully Pulpit would be a book every pastor and Christian leader ought to read. But I changed my mind: every Christian from pulpit to pew needs to read this wise and timely work--for the sake of the church and her people.'

'The apostle Paul tells us the overseer of God's people is not to be a bully, but gentle (1 Tim. 3:3, CSB), and yet we too often overlook significant character issues or actions that should be disqualifying for ministry because of how God seems to be using an individual or growing a church. Bully Pulpit provides wise and measured reflections on the reality of shepherds who reject Christ's vision of leadership and leave spiritual destruction in the wake of their sin. I hope this important book prompts serious discussion among God's people.'

'The topic of spiritual abuse needs careful attention and sober reflection, so I'm thankful for this thoughtful, wise, and biblical book. Dr. Kruger provides helpful clarity on a controversial subject while courageously cautioning ministry leaders about the kind of leadership that doesn't reflect the heart of Christ. Anyone who serves the spiritual needs of people should read this timely book.'

'This book is not a reaction but a response. Reactions to spiritual abuse are understandably passionate, but often without constructive insight. Dr. Kruger responds with both passion and constructive insight into both how leadership dynamics often deny the character of our Lord Jesus and how building new dynamics will put that very character on vibrant display.'

'While exposing spiritual abuse has become commonplace in American Christianity, few offer constructive solutions or practical wisdom. In this book Michael Kruger diagnoses the problem of spiritual abuse, describes what it is (and is not), and equips leaders to prevent abuse as well as respond appropriately when it happens. I hope every pastor reads this book and that it leads to faithfully representing our Lord, who used his power to serve.'

'Who would ever have thought we would reach a point in the life of the church where the adjective bully would modify the noun pulpit? Yet, sadly, we have arrived. This book is both urgent and timely, as the presence of domineering and abusive church leaders continues to make headlines. This book is not only for pastors and elders but should be read by all Christians who care about the life and health of the body of Christ. I highly recommend it.'

'With prophetic courage and pastoral compassion, Mike Kruger has written an important book on a difficult subject. No one likes to think or talk about spiritual abuse, especially in the church, but if we neglect and ignore this very real problem and don't find the right ways to confront it, woe to us. So if you're a church leader who wants to shepherd the precious flock of God in the paradigm, pattern, and posture of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, pick up this must-read book, then listen and learn.'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2022-11-08
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2022-11-08
  • Trim Size: 147.000mm x 223.000mm x 20.000mm
  • Weight: 416.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christian Church / Leadership
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Counseling & Recovery
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources
  • Category 5 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / General
  • Category 6 : SELF-HELP / Abuse