Often an abusive church is built around the leader who practices some unhealthy forms of shepherding. Often that leader comes from a church that was abusive or had an unmet need for significance.
Sadly, many leaders begun with good intentions, but their unresolved personal issues cause them to become dependent on their ministry and not God to meet their needs.
Instead of feeding and caring for the flock, abusive leaders feed off the flock and use them to meet their needs for significance.
True spiritual leaders are defined by Christ’s example. “Whoever wants to be great among you must become the servant of all” (Matt 20:26) Christ-like leadership is servanthood.
True leaders gain the loyalty of the sheep because of the quality of their character and their attitude of servanthood. Good shepherds lighten the load of the sheep while abusive leaders add to the load on the sheep.