March 30, 2021 at 5:32 pm #3136HealedbyHimParticipant
Looking through the forum was like déjà vu for me. The pages and people’s comments were so much of what I had gone through at BT. So many stories over so many years. No doubt to outsiders or visitors, they would never know because the choir sounded great, the building was beautiful. It was “better than Broadway.” But unfortunately, all of that has come (and continues to come) at a price. I will say the people at BT had been amazing; even those who ran my ministry. The congregation was mostly loving and caring. The leadership is another situation altogether.
I had been involved in a creative ministry at BT. I understand that the church doesn’t revolve around me. Yes, I know that I am a co-laborer in Christ. But I am also a soul. At the risk of sounding petty and making it about individuals or specific situations, I will say that I have been broken by what has happened during my time at BT. I am shocked at those whom I have spoken to who, like me, were in ministry and have needed professional counseling for the things they have experienced there. It twisted my mind. And I know I’m not alone.
The leadership has a way of making you second-guess your own God-given abilities. When they needed me in another role, they wouldn’t ask me to pray about it. They told me it was “God’s will for my life.” And I believed them. Why wouldn’t I? But I understand now that it was never God’s will for my life. They used that powerful phrase to pressure me.
What I have come to realize was that I (me, my own soul) was a means to an end for leadership. If I was struggling or had a family issue, that was of no concern to them. There were times when leadership knew I was sick for a long time. There wasn’t a single phone call or concern. And I had been serving there for years. But when I was considering not serving for a production to help a family member, I received phone calls, texts; you name it. My service and my skills were the only things they were interested in. They made that abundantly clear.
The issue was that I was in a place that was supposed to fill, heal and restore. But what I found was that it was a place of “take and take” and confusion. I watched my friends in ministry get lambasted over their best efforts while leadership (family) consistently showed up late, ill-prepared. It wasn’t just about the hypocrisy, it taught us that we didn’t matter. I didn’t matter.
There is more to my story, but I don’t need to write of that. Maybe one day. I write on this forum so that people can know that they aren’t alone. I created this topic so that people can add how they have endured, healed, grown, and thrived in spite of and because of what they have experienced at BT.
Someone shared with me a book by Dr. Diane Langberg. I saw that it was also posted on this site also. It has blessed me so much, and it has helped to teach me the true heart of Jesus. It’s called, Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church. Here is a link to Amazon:
I believe that there is power in God’s people connecting. I hope this topic will provide that place for you and me.
April 7, 2021 at 6:06 pm #3172themessengerParticipant
Thank you @HealedbyHim for sharing. I’m sure I join others who are reading when I say I’m sorry for what you have gone through.
I was on staff for many years. I was never brought into an office and yelled at like so many others. I was never told what their vision — I mean God’s vision — was for my life. In a sense I felt like I was protected. I never quite understood it. I was given raises and treated somewhat special. But I would find out there was actually a tremendous price that I and my family had to pay. There is never a free lunch.
The conversations that were had from employee to employee showed me that pretty much everyone knew that there is something deeply off at BT. I would venture to guess that a good portion of the staff’s days were spent in lament, praying for the day that the dark underbelly would all get exposed. There isn’t a floor or a department that wasn’t included in lamenting how in the world God’s Judgement and BT hadn’t intersected, yet.
I am glad I’m not longer at BT and that I left with my mind and my faith intact. Others weren’t so lucky. BT seemed like a bad relationship with an abusive narcissist. And it very much was.
I personally feel that Paul Brewer’s story on this forum is one of many others. I, too shared a quote from Dr. Langberg on his thread. She has been an example to me. I highly recommend following her! Some years ago, a friend sent me a link to her site dianelangberg.com.
This video from Dr. Langberg was one I watched. It is so powerful. It’s called Narcissism and the System it Breeds.
I hope you are all blessed today and I applaud this site’s pursuit of truth and ultimately the healing of God’s people.
May 9, 2021 at 6:56 am #3194btstagfconcernedParticipant
As a staff member at BT when you see the nepotism affecting so many staff members, what do you do? Who is there to go to? It is discouraging and hurting the ministry and it is heartbreaking. Pastors and Board PLEASE HELP, The church is hurting!
July 6, 2021 at 11:03 pm #3197XTABERParticipant
Why haven’t these monsters been fully exposed? I was involved in a high profile ministry at Brooklyn Tabernacle. I can tell you without hesitation, that the story book Brooklyn Tabernacle described in Jim Cymbalta’s books don’t present the evil, Satan inspired disregard and abuse of staff and volunteers. Run far away from the Cymbalta family and Brooklyn Tabernacle.
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