Yesterday I did an interview with Doug Bursch from Seattle’s KGNW radio station. Doug describes himself in his bio as “a speaker, writer, pastor, teacher and evangelist.” We spoke about spiritual abuse, healthy and unhealthy churches. I’ve done quite a few interviews since the lawsuit, but this one is my new favorite. If you know of someone who might have gone through spiritual abuse or wants to understand what it means, what it looks like, this would be a good interview to listen to because Doug really gets it.
Here’s a little excerpt I transcribed because I wanted you to get a glimpse into this guy’s heart. His compassion made me tear up. This is the kind of heart we want to see from a pastor:
Julie Anne, not to be sentimental, but I want to apologize, as a pastor. I know that it doesn’t necessarily help with the harm that has been done to you or the people you’ve had to walk through with tears and weeping as they’ve dealt with hurts, but at least I’d like say that I apologize for any pastor or person who has misused their power to harm you or harm your family. My prayer is that we can facilitate a dialogue where there is healing and there’s love. I think there’ll be more leaders rising up and there’ll be more safe places and I think that’s the ultimate goal.
I encourage you to listen beyond the interview as Doug discusses how not only did Jesus die for sinners, but He identifies with those who were sinned against. He knew what it was like to be unjustly treated. He understands our pain.
During the first few minutes, Doug introduces the program by talking about what’s coming up in the show and tells the story about someone who experienced spiritual abuse. The actual interview is right around the 42:25 mark. You can listen to the interview here.
When we go to church and listen to a pastor preach, there may be a “type” of sounding board:
A sounding board (also known as a tester) is a structure placed above or behind a pulpit or other speaking platform which helps to project the sound of the speaker. The structure may be specially shaped to assist the projection, for example, being formed as a parabolic reflector. In the typical setting of a church building, the sounding board may be ornately carved or constructed. In this context it is also known as an abat-voix. (Source)
We obviously use microphones today to project the sound of the speaker/pastor. My former pastor has a small church, but uses a microphone to speak his words so they can be heard in the congregation. He also uses different platforms to speak his words: blogs, the internet, his church website, Sermon Audio, etc. His message can be heard by those in his church – maybe with maximum capacity of 200 (guessing), or can be heard on the internet by perhaps millions (if they so desire).
We live in an amazing age of technology. Last month, a “pastor” of six (yes, 6 people in his congregation), did a Google search on his name and found an old comment left by a reader on my blog (the comment was left some 5 months after the article was originally posted, so most likely very few blog readers even saw it).
This particular pastor looked me up on Twitter and engaged me publicly regarding this specific comment. He also tagged two more of his Twitter friends into the Twitter conversation perhaps in an effort to side with him and influence me to remove the comment. My point is not to draw attention to this pastor of six, but to demonstrate that with modern technology, small churches and mega churches can have the same playing field as far as audiences are concerned.