I hope they stay somewhere on the web, even though the author has retired...
One of these concerns conflicted Christian communities. Like an immune system attacking its healthy body, Church groups can become oppressed by a soul-sickness that reveals itself in paranoia, bullying, silly (usually ad hominem) touchiness and sick bunny sarcasm. Here is Bishop Ron’s list of characteristic symptoms and treatments...
1. High and habitual anxiety and reactivity which overshadows perspective, opportunity, and differentiated thought.
Remedy: Meet enough security needs to allow calm dialogue and thought. Stabilize the patient.
2. Carefully tended list of grievances is held and recited to negotiate future concessions.
Remedy: Acknowledge and air wounds. Apply reality therapy to exaggerations.
3. Enduring personal animosities override all decisions, all deliberations, all impartiality.
Remedy: Slowly renew, dilute, and broaden the leadership base.
4. Blaming and cyclical, unhealthy relationship patterns will be present and gain strength from anger, revenge, stigmatization, "them and us" thinking, and distancing "ain't it awful".
Remedy: Re-state the problems without personal blame. Envision a new future. Don't be vague.
5. Conflict is magnified through indirect communications such as one person speaking for anonymous others.
6. Hostage taking occurs "unless . . . l'm leaving". Remedy: Create a fair forum for direct communication where people speak for themselves, directly to the whole group, and where the open decisions matter. Remedy: "We love you, appreciate what you've done, and don't want you to leave, however . . . "
7. Relationship obsessions abound with unhealthy clinging or distancing. This may lead to endless analysis, therapy, inward scrutiny, and desperate solutions.
Remedy: Focus on the great outward common tasks and purposes.
8. An exhausted few tenuously cling to the wheel as the ship tosses and lunges largely out of control.
Remedy: Leaders must priorize, set boundaries, differentiate tasks, and proceed with faith in God and their own integrity. Reduce the tasks to match the resources and create the space for some enjoyment.
9. Insecurity reactions around books, buildings, the old days, and the past hero will be sentimentalized. People will cling to each other in unhealthy ways: gossip circles, power groups, guard-dog teams, and "ain't it awful" observation teams.
Remedy: Help the community find its security in their primary convictions; God, Christ, the word, the mission, and the love.
10. Often there is a sense of morass and abyss. Poverty thinking will overcome abundance thinking. "We're hurting. We're stuck. We're getting to like our insecurities. We're poor and that insures nothing good can happen. Even if we could change the cost might be too high."
Remedy: A new climate, new patterns of relating, abundance thinking, hope kindled