Dysfunction Junction Blog
Hope for Messed Up Churches

Life in the Trenches of Church Conflict Interventions
Why is forgiving so difficult? The answer is easier than you might expect: no one taught us because they did not know how to define forgiveness or how it worked.

That has all changed with studies at multiple universities into the inner workings and benefits of forgiving.

I document it all in a step-by-step process for large groups in The Road Home, but individuals and small groups can also use it.

It works! The book was awarded a literary achievement prize because it is being used to effectively treat returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD.

The book is endorsed by the Presidents of the 50,000 member American Association of Christian Counselors and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. The foreword is by Everett Worthington, Jr., one of the world's leading clinical researchers.

The Road Home is available from booksellers worldwide.

For the last few years I have been concentrating on studying, understanding, and writing about the issue of narcissistic pastors. Not the "I love myself" type narcissists, but the predators who eat their flocks. The result has been writing and presenting papers on Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the clergy. It also resulted in co-authoring a book with R. Glenn Ball titled Let Us Prey: The Plague of Narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do About  It. We are excited and honored to announce that the book has been accepted for publication by a reputable, mainline publishing house. Expect it to be available in softcover and digital forms in early 2017.

Church Fights: Can't We All Just Get Along?


Apparently not!

In John 17, Jesus prayed for himself, for his disciples, and for the fledgling Church that would arise. These words always strike me when I read that passage:  “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17: 20-23)

However, as a very short poem says, "After 2000 years of Mass we've got as far as poison gas."

Not a very good track record.

I started this blog on my Peacebridge Ministries website but decided to move it here for easier access.

I have worked with organizational and church conflict management for most of my adult life. I have lived through and been scarred by conflicts in churches from the time I was very young. My father was Chairman of the Board of Elders at a fundamentalist church in western Michigan from my childhood well into my adult years, so church intrigue was something I grew up with. Still, and like almost everyone else, experiencing church conflict from the inside was unexpected and confusing, particularly when I was viciously attacked by none other than my own pastor!

That led to much deeper study and research into the psychology of conflict, which eventually led into the study of emotional disease in the clergy. Guess what? It's much worse than anyone thought, and we have the research data to support it.

So, what is it that I do? I study organizational behavior and psychology, the psychology of conflict, conflict escalation processes, analyze and design interventions for specific church fights, and then do the intervention. I go into the trenches where they are and lead them out. I then lead conflict-wounded leaders and congregations through a clinical and biblical forgiveness and reconciliation process.

I write about it as well. My first book, The Road Home (look to your left) was published in 2013 and is available from booksellers all over the world. My second book, with co-author R. Glenn Ball, reveals the depth and the danger to churches by pastors with the mental disease of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The titles is Let Us Prey: The Plague of Narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do About It and we are currently seeking a publisher. 

And I do other stuff. Teach. Speak at conferences. Write papers. And I'm the Dean of Academics at a small private college.

Questions? Ask!

Darrell Puls

The Frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Pastors
Do you know a pastor who is secretive, angry, demanding entitled, arrogant, self-centered, and contradictory? Then you need to read the article linked below. Written and researched by Glenn Ball (Presbyterian Church in Canada) and Darrell Puls (Peacebridge Ministries), it will shake you to the core. It was first presented at the world conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville, TN in late September 2015, and has now been downloaded more than 2000 times.