Pastor Bullying from The Pulpit
Pastor Bullying from The Pulpit

A pastor bullying from the pulpit is a distressing and unacceptable issue that can harm both individuals and the unity of a congregation.

So, we will explore ten effective ways to address and combat this problem while promoting a healthy and respectful church environment. Let’s delve into these strategies to help you navigate this challenging situation and foster positive change.

How to Stand Up to a Pastor Bullying from The Pulpit

When a pastor with unhealthy behavioral issues uses their position of authority to engage in abusive behavior or harassment from the pulpit, it can leave congregants feeling powerless and trapped. However, there are proactive steps you can take to address this issue compassionately while upholding your values and principles.

#1. Document the Behavior

The first step in addressing pastor bullying from the pulpit is to carefully document instances of abusive behavior. Keep a journal detailing specific incidents, including dates, times, locations, and witnesses. Especially do this if the pastor has offended you or someone else in the congregation. This documentation will serve as essential evidence if you need to escalate the matter.

#2. Speak privately to your pastor

Approaching your pastor privately and respectfully is often the initial course of action. Express your concerns calmly and directly, using “I” statements to convey your feelings. For example, “I felt hurt when you said…” or “I was concerned about the way you handled…”

#3. Seek support from others

You are not alone in facing pastor bullying. Seek support from fellow congregation members who may have similar concerns. Together, you can share experiences and strengthen your collective voice when addressing the issue with church leadership.

#4. Meet with church leadership

If addressing the pastor directly doesn’t yield positive results, schedule a meeting with the church leadership or elders. Share your documented evidence and concerns, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a respectful and loving church environment. They have the authority and responsibility to address this issue.

#5. Consult the church constitution or bylaws

Most churches have established guidelines and bylaws that govern their operations. Review these documents to understand the process for addressing issues related to pastor abuse or misconduct. They often outline steps for resolution and can provide a framework for action.

#6. Request mediation

Mediation can be an effective way to resolve conflicts within the church. Requesting a neutral third party to facilitate a conversation between you, the pastor, and church leadership can help bridge gaps and find a constructive resolution.

#7. Write a letter

If you are unable to communicate effectively in person, consider writing a letter to your pastor and church leadership. In the letter, express your concerns, feelings, and the impact of your pastor’s behavior on you and the congregation. A written record of your pastor bullying from the pulpit can be a powerful tool.

#8. Attend a congregational meeting

Many churches hold regular congregational meetings where members can voice concerns and vote on important matters. Attend these meetings to address the issue openly, gather support from other members, and advocate for change.

#9. Contact denominational leadership

If your church is part of a larger denomination, consider reaching out to denominational leadership for guidance and assistance. They may have established procedures for addressing pastor bullying and can offer support during the process.

#10. Consider leaving the church

While it is often a last resort, if you cannot stop your pastor bullying from the pulpit, then leaving the church may be the best option if the abusive behavior persists and no resolution is in sight. Your spiritual and emotional well-being should be a top priority, and it’s essential to prioritize your safety and mental health.


A pastor bullying from the pulpit is a deeply troubling issue that can negatively affect individuals, families, and entire congregations. By following these ten compassionate and proactive steps, you can work towards addressing this problem while promoting a more loving and respectful church environment.

Remember that you have the right to worship in a place where you feel safe, respected, and valued. Stand up for what you believe in, and together, we can create a healthier and more inclusive religious community.