This books list is related to past challenges, healing, and spiritual formation.
Baile, Gil, Violence Unveiled, New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1992.
This landmark work on how conflict emerges in communities is highly insightful. Baile effectively explains how Americans misunderstand victimhood and is in a crisis our culture determining the root of the problem.
Benyei, Candace R., Understanding Clergy Misconduct in Religious Systems, New York: Haworth, 1998.
It is subtitled as Scapegoating, Family Secrets, and the Abuse of Power and provides tremendous insight into the dynamics of dysfunction of a spiritual community.
Cloud, Dr. Henry & Townsend, Dr. John, Boundaries, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992
These authors also provide, How People Grow, Boundaries, Face to Face and a host of other helpful books related to creating a healthy track for spiritual formation and maintaining a safety net where when involved in unhealthy situations.
Cook, Arnold L., Historical Drift: Must My Church Die?, Camp Hill: Christian Publications, 2000.
What minister doesn't want to know the patterns preceding their flock's erosion of convictions or the historical manners that lead into building to last? Quite stimulating.
Crabb, Larry, The Safest Place on Earth, Nashville: W. Publishing Group, 1999.
This work deals with creating a safe environment for being open with our lives, i.e., the confession of sin.
Girard, Rene, I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2001.
This is probably best introduction into Girard's theory of mimesis, envy and scapegoating. His works have revolutionized both the worlds of anthropology, literary criticism and theology where conflicts in communities are concerned.
Harris, Katherine, Center of the Storm, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002.
It is what is says, Practicing Principled Leadership in Times of Crisis. Harris stood at the center of the last Bush-Gore election fiasco and has an amazing story to tell, from a perspective of a deeply rooted faith in God and Scripture.
Haugh, Kenneth C., Antagonists in the Church, Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1988.
This little work identifies the techniques and signs of unhealthy people in churches, including how ministers can handle them.
McIntosh. & Rima, Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997.
Elders everywhere ought to consider the dynamics of compulsive, narcissistic, paranoid, codependent, and passive-aggressive leaders. Unchecked leaders wound others habitually without even being aware.
McIntryre, Valerie J., Sheep in Wolves' Clothing, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996.
This little book is subtitled 'How Unseen Need Destroys Friendship and Community and What to Do About It'. I just recently read this and it confirms my experience and theory about why people are determined to bring others down.
Rediger, G. Lloyd, Clergy Killers, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997.
Most ministers need help from outside of their training when dealing with "ill" people who wield power in a congregation. This work helps authority figures discern the difference between someone who disagrees with them and those who are have chronic issues.
Schwager, Raymund S. J., Must There Be Scapegoats, New York: Harper & Row, 2000.
Exceedingly insightful about how the actions of angry people lead to outcomes that they cannot explain. Schwager explores the biblical, anthropological and psychological aspects of three-thousand years of endless blaming.
Sedler, Dr. Micahel D., Stop the Runaway Conversation, Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2001.
This is a gem of a book to read first for oneself, subtitled Take Control over Gossip and Criticism. It is especially helpful for when we are being seduced. It shows the seemingly innocent ploys used to justify blatant disregard of Scriptural boundaries.
Susek, Ron, Firestorm, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999.
This book is one of the greater tools for elderships and boards under a crisis. It provides insight for various stages on explosion in one's spiritual community from real life examples.
Willard, Dallas, Renovation of the Heart, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.
This is the best work for someone who has struggled with being in a religious system, good or toxic, and desires a heart rather than externals to motivate them. Can be quite difficult reading at times but I find it worth the effort.