In recent years, stories of trauma and abuse have become all too common in the church. 

Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, says we need to find a better way.

"One of the things that is important for me in teaching seminary students, is that we don't focus enough on character, and we measure a pastoral success, the success of a pastor, the success of a church by numbers," McKnight explains. "So we attract people who can bring us numbers, rather than measuring Christlikeness, tov (goodness), love, service."

"Instead of measuring things like humility and meekness, the fruit of the spirit, we're measuring numbers all the time. This has created cultures, upon cultures upon cultures where we are looking for the wrong thing, measuring the wrong thing, and it just is an endless cycle of abuse and power and narcissism finding its way to the top in churches."

He says the sad truth is that churches of all shapes and sizes are susceptible to abuses of power, sexual abuse, and spiritual abuse.

According to Scot, we need a map to get us from where we are today to where we ought to be as the body of Christ. He says that map is in a mysterious and beautiful little Hebrew word in Scripture that we translate “good,” the word tov.

Today on Connections, Scot shares what that map is and how we can start forming a goodness culture that resists abuses of power and promotes healing.