Jump directly to the Content

When Service is Selfish

Codependent behavior might be as close as your church.
When Service is Selfish

I'm pleased to feature this outstanding follow-up to Amy Simpson's "Codependency and the Church."(Be sure to read that piece first for needed context.) I hope you find Amy's words today as practically insightful (and elegantly quotable) as I do. -Paul

Some experts say churches foster codependency in all of us. Author and former pastor Jeff VanVonderen says, "A lot of Christians are taught not to be dependent, but codependent on God. We tiptoe around to try to make sure God has a good day."

People like church staff and volunteers often confuse codependency with servanthood. A description of codependency can sound a lot like serving others. And service-oriented professions attract people who may not understand the difference.

But sometimes serving others is really about serving ourselves—and that's when codependency enters the picture. People who are codependent serve to meet their own emotional needs and desires. They serve whether others ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Window Watching
Window Watching
When are people most open to evangelistic efforts?
From the Magazine
Revelation Is Good News for Today, not a Game Plan for the Future
Revelation Is Good News for Today, not a Game Plan for the Future
For a clearer picture of this mysterious book, try trading a prediction lens for a missional lens.
Editor's Pick
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
After many difficult years in ministry, I lost the strength to pastor. But Christ met me in weakness.
close