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How to Fight Peer Pressure Culture in Our Churches

Recent examples of fallen ministries show us that conformity can be dangerous.
How to Fight Peer Pressure Culture in Our Churches
Image: Illustration by Mallory Rentsch / Source Images: Pille Kirsi / Pexels / Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

We’ve had stunning illustrations in recent months about how an enabling culture is created and perpetuated around toxic but charismatic leaders. High-profile examples have ranged from churches like Willow Creek and Harvest Bible Chapel to Christian organizations headed by Dave Ramsey and the late Ravi Zacharias.

In the case of every single one of these churches and ministries, we see that though these seemingly “too big to fail” organizations were honored through the years for their strong evangelical bona fides, their day-to-day organizational cultures discipled staff through the most destructive kinds of peer pressure.

A culture of peer pressure can be leveraged by manipulative leaders to keep toxic secrets in the dark: “Christians are right to heed scriptural warnings about gossip, secrets, and lies. Yet the American church has also seen a pattern of leaders referencing such teachings to silence and discredit victims and whistleblowers,” CT wrote on the falling-out ...

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