Spiritual abuse distorts how we see and experience God and the Church. These resources have helped former members sort through their thoughts and feelings from leaving The Network.
Find a licensed therapist using Psychology Today
If you feel that you have experienced spiritual abuse — whether from a person at one of the churches within The Network or from any other relationship in your life — help is available. You do not need to endure trauma alone. You deserve to feel safe.
Psychology Today has an easy to use, comprehensive tool for finding licensed therapists in your local area. You can search by city and filter by many criteria, including insurance, issues, and more. You can also adjust the filters to find Christian therapists if that is important to you.
National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or Text 988
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 across the United States.
Crisis Text Line: Text "Hello" to 741741
Crisis Text Line fields messages about suicidal thoughts, abuse, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, bullying and more. What makes it unique is that it's entirely text-based, which makes it easy for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable or safe talking on the phone to use it.
Reform The Network | reformthenetwork.com
Reform The Network is a site calling for repentance of Network leaders and reform of The Network by Jason Ramsland, a former board member of South Grove Church in Athens, GA, who resigned after lead pastor Bobby Malicoat refused to remove the church from The Network. Jason's site has documentation on the failed attempt to initiate an investigation into Steve Morgan's truthfulness, and presents ways which The Network could reform.
Theology & Me | theologyandme.com
Blake Hadley is a former small group leader at South Grove Church in Athens, Georgia, and is now an MA student at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has created a website refuting Network theology and helping those who have left The Network differentiate what they learned in Network teachings from what is commonly taught at Christian Seminaries.
Not Overcome | notovercome.org
Not Overcome is maintained by a former small group leader at Vista Church in San Luis Obispo, California, and Blue Sky Church in Seattle, Washingon. The author left The Network in 2021 and has shared an open letter which tells her story, outlines the abuses she committed and witnessed while a member of these churches, and calls for repentance of the Network's leadership. The articles on the site discuss topics related to The Network, recovery from spiritual abuse, and navigating life and identity after leaving The Network.
Reddit | r/leavingthenetwork
We have been made aware of a relatively unmoderated discussion which has sprung up on Reddit where people are sharing thoughts, impressions, and stories from their time in The Network. This Reddit community has become a place where former members are openly sharing their pain, grief, loneliness, regret, and anger over their time in The Network in raw, uncensored ways along with the context of what happened to them.
This subreddit is in response to but not directly moderated by the contributors of this site. LeavingTheNetwork.org makes no claim on the authenticity of these posts. We offer a link to this Reddit community as a supplement to the stories we have published here.
The Roys Report by Julie Roys | julieroys.com
The Roys Report is a Christian media outlet, reporting the unvarnished truth about what’s happening in the Christian community so the church can be reformed and restored. The site is an independent Christian media outlet exposing corruption, abuse, and what’s been termed the “evangelical industrial complex.”
The Network has been the subject of Roys' reporting, and the site is helpful to gain perspective on the larger trend of churches leveraging their power to control and abuse their members.
Some of her investigation includes exposing:
- Roys Report story on The Network: Whistleblowers Say Leader of ‘Network’ of Churches Hid Sexual Crime for 36 Years
- Revealing bullying, deceit, and financial abuse by celebrity preacher James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel.
- The sexual misconduct of Ravi Zacharias
- Nepotism and multiple large salaries of John MacArthur
- Sexual abuse and mismanagement at Willow Creek Community Church
- A pattern of bullying and abuse within the Acts 29 church planting network.
National Association for Christian Recovery | nacr.org
NACR is a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation whose primary purpose is to help the Christian community to recover from abuse and addiction. They provide free resources and training materials to help the Christian community become a safer and more helpful place for people struggling with the most difficult of life's problems.
This site contains many resources about a variety of recovery programs. Of particular interest is a video series by Dr. Jeff VanVonderen which outlines Abusive Religious Systems and the lasting trauma they inflict on people's lives.
Church Exiters | churchexiters.com
Every year dedicated Christian people leave churches because of spiritual abuse. What factors contribute to dedicated and active believers leaving their church and becoming just another exiting statistic?
The stories chronicled by Church Exiters of men and women who left their home church because of negative and hurtful experiences beckon consideration by leaders and congregants alike. How can people go from a devastating experience at a local church setting to a condition of spiritual restoration? Church Exiters’s doctoral research is aimed to demonstrate how people who experience grief and loss in their Christian lives regain spiritual equilibrium.
Dare to Doubt by Alice Greczyn | daretodoubt.org
Dare to Doubt is a hub for connecting those recovering from cultish religious sects to resources. From the site: "If you've ever struggled with questioning your beliefs, or you feel shattered by the ramifications of leaving your religion, you've found a safe place. Dare to Doubt is a resource hub for people detaching from harmful belief systems. Our aim is to help you heal from the damage of indoctrination by connecting you with mental health professionals, aid organizations, and peer support groups."
Though Alice decided to leave her faith entirely the organization focuses on critical thinking and recovery from Religious Trauma Syndrome without prescribing either belief or unbelief.
Heaven Bent from Frequency Podcast Network
Heaven Bent isn't about Steve Morgan's churches specifically, but it does explain the context from which Steve emerged as a church planter. The Network was born out of the Vineyard Fellowship of Churches. Heaven Bent traces the history of the Vineyard to charismatic movements like the Toronto Blessing and beyond to modern churches like Bethel. Along the way host Tara Jean Stevens poses thought-provoking questions about spiritual manipulation and abuse, and the ways church leaders have leveraged mystical experiences and charismatic phenomena to their advantage.
The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill from Christianity Today
The Rise And Fall of Mars Hill shares the inside story of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, from its founding in one of the largest church planting movements in American history to its public demise. Host Mike Cosper speaks with the people who lived and breathed the contradiction of positive, life-changing transformation at Mars Hill as it existed alongside the abusive and toxic leadership of its founding lead pastor, Mark Driscoll.
Broken Trust by Remy Diederich
For those of us who have suffered spiritual abuse from a toxic church, toxic organization, or toxic leader, our trust has been broken. We entrusted our life to someone we thought would care for us, someone who initially inspired us to know God, only to reject us in the end. Now we are left wounded and disillusioned, wondering if we can ever trust others, ourselves, or even God, again.
Remy Diederich’s book not only helps identify spiritual abuse, it offers a practical plan for recovery. Diederich encourages his readers that because God is the God of resurrection and restoration, spiritual abuse survivors can rebuild their lives from the broken trust and toxic environment of their past.
A Church Called TOV by Scot McKnight and Laura McKnight Barringer
Tragically, in recent years, Christians have grown accustomed to shocking revelations of horrendous abuse in many well-known and respected churches and denominations—from Willow Creek to Harvest, from the Southern Baptist Convention to Sovereign Grace, Mars Hill, and Hillsong, just to name a few. Respected author and theologian Scot McKnight and former Willow Creek member Laura Barringer wrote this book to paint a path forward for the church.
In A Church Called TOV, McKnight and Barringer explore the concept of tov (the Hebrew word for “good”)—unpacking its richness and how it can help Christians and churches rise up to fulfill their true calling as imitators of Jesus.
Something's Not Right by Wade Mullen
Researcher and advocate Wade Mullen introduces us to the groundbreaking world of impression management―the strategies that individuals and organizations utilize to gain power and cover up their wrongdoings. Mullen reveals a pattern that accompanies many types of abuse so we can help stop the cycle and make abusers less effective at accomplishing destruction in our lives.
Something’s Not Right will help you to identify and describe tactics that were previously unidentifiable and indescribable, and give you the language you need to move toward freedom and create a safer future for yourself and others.
Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church by Diane Langberg, PhD
Although many Christians want to prevent abuse in their churches and organizations, they lack a deep and clear-eyed understanding of how power actually works.
Internationally recognized psychologist Diane Langberg offers a clinical and theological framework for understanding how power operates, the effects of the abuse of power, and how power can be redeemed and restored to its proper God-given place in relationships and institutions. This book not only helps Christian leaders identify and resist abusive systems but also shows how they can use power to protect the vulnerable in their midst.
8 SIGNS OF A DYSFUNCTIONAL CHURCH: Characteristics of spiritual abuse within dysfunctional churches and high-control groups