"A Church Called Tov"
One of our hopes for Enhearten Healing is to provide great resources to help those impacted by leadership abuse or spiritual abuse. This week, we share one such resource. We pray it will be nourishment for you.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... ~ Genesis 1:1
… God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day. ~ Genesis 1:31
In this season, we believe God is calling the church to goodness, to humility, to generosity.
Calling the church back to these, in places and times in which we have strayed.
I believe that many of us are weary and thirsty for this.
Overwhelmingly weary and thirsty.
In A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture that Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing, Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer introduce us to the beautiful Hebrew word tov.
Tov is a Hebrew word for good.
It is the word used over and over again in the beautiful creation account of Genesis 1 to describe what God has created.
In the book A Church Called Tov, Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer lead us through warning signs and characteristics of a toxic church culture, a culture that is not tov.
But they do not stop there.
They spend the rest of the book painting a beautiful picture of what they call a circle of tov, a culture that nurtures empathy, grace, people-first, truth, justice service, and Christlikeness.
"A life designed for death, a death designed for life, and the virtues of utter goodness in what he taught and how he lived. That's Jesus, the one truly tov and beautiful one." ~ A Church Called Tov
If you have experienced leadership abuse or spiritual abuse, you have experienced something that is not good... something that cannot be called tov.
Often it is hard to find words to describe what you have experienced.
In the middle of abuse, it is difficult to remember what healthy spiritual leadership looks like.
I think that, in these times, we long for sincere, simple goodness.
In A Church Called Tov, we experience language that paints a picture for us of a church characterized by tov.
A church called tov is not a perfect church, but it is a place of sincerity and goodness… a church that God calls tov.
I find myself captivated by the word picture of a church called tov.
I pray that this simple word picture encourages you to find tov, to live it, to invite others into it.
May we together be a church that God calls tov.
If you are currently in a situation of leadership abuse or spiritual abuse, or you want to learn more about these topics, please reach out to Enhearten through Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Jenny Switkes is a pastor, mathematics professor, and missionary who is passionate about Jesus and loves the bivocational life that God has given her. She loves helping apostolic leaders clarify their calling and take next steps to live their call.