Heartbeat  Conflict Consulting for Faith Communities



Confronting the Plague of Narcissist Pastors
Types of organizations I have worked with include:
Medical Practice
Public and Private Schools
Medical School
Religious Denominations
Non Profits
Community Organizations
City Government

and many more...

Please note: We used the Netherlands Narcissism Scale as our test instrument. In its original form (2002), the NNS tested for overt and covert functional and dysfunctional narcissism, but not pathological narcissism, meaning Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The NNS has since been expanded at least twice. Its creator, Hessel Zondag from the University at Tilburg in the Netherlands, emailed the document that was used, and we made no changes. The scoring mechanism clearly indicates that the NNS tests for Narcissistic Personality Disorder in both its overt and covert forms.

In preparing the original study for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, the journal editor asked me to provide validation by Zondag detailing how the scoring had been calibrated to test for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which it was not designed to do in 2002. I have been unable to locate such an article, published or unpublished. We relied on the document sent by Zondag in good faith.

Professor Zondag has retired from the University at Tilburg and my attempts to locate and contact him have so far been unsuccessful. Based on the fact that we used the instrument exactly as presented to us by Zondag, we stand by our study.

What if your church is experiencing internal conflict - and the pastor seems to be fanning the flames? It's true that very few pastors have any training in conflict management, but that is not the problem I am talking about.

Have you been victimized by a "problem pastor?" What if your pastor IS the problem?

Since the publication of the underlying 2015 research paper, The Frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Pastors, and the book, Let Us Prey: The Plague of narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do About It (2017), Glenn and I have received hundreds of emails from around the world from people who were victims of narcissist pastors.

Let Us Prey has moved into the top 4% of all titles on Amazon! More than 20,000 copies are in print or downloaded around the world!
More and more positive reviews are coming in and real-time changes are being made in how pastors are ordained! The Church of England will shortly begin testing ordination candidates for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Let Us Prey was cited as the source. Let Us Prey was recently used to argue for testing of priesthood candidates in Spain.

Have you been victimized by a "problem" pastor? Has your church had a destructive pastor at the helm (30% do!)? Are you going to be calling a new pastor at any time in the near future?

Let Us Prey is for you!

You can also read the blog at: Let Us Prey - The Blog

Based on a thoroughly-researched national study of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in pastors and hundreds of peer-reviewed published articles, Let Us Prey in the ONLY book published designed to tackle this devastating phenomenon with science, scripture, and experienced practical advice. This book will help you identify, understand, confront, and deal with pastors with malignant narcissism. It will also help you weed them out from the candidate pool so they are never hired in the first place.

Narcissist pastors? Aren't they all? While it is true that most pastors score high in narcissistic traits, most are able to channel them into positive means. I am writing about the 30+% of active pastors who meet the diagnostic criteria for malignant narcissism, meaning Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (See note to the left of this section.)

They are self-righteous, entitled, charming, and manipulative; they lie about anything and everything, they are excellent actors who can fake sympathy and empathy while never feeling either, and they will do everything within their powers to destroy you if they see you as a threat - which is anyone who disagrees with them or takes away any of the spotlights. They preach not for the glory of God but for their own glorification. They will never admit a mistake - it's always the fault of someone else - and never apologize. They truly are the wolves in sheep's clothing that Jesus warned against.

They do incredible damage to congregations, usually one person at a time. Those who are attacked and leave may never enter the doors of a church again. By the time most congregations reach the point where they know something must be done, half the congregation is gone, those who remain are deeply wounded, and the finances are in shambles.

How do we know? We have both worked with these crippled churches across Canada and the United States.

Let Us Prey now has more than 20,000 copies downloaded or in print!

Here is what the reviewers have said:

"Armed with research data and real-life examples, Puls and Ball provide an absorbing and alarming analysis of Christian clergy who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, describing the toll these 'wolves in sheep's clothing' wreak upon their congregations and co-workers. A must-read for clergy and those who supervise and support them." ~ Kevin Livingston, Associate Pastor of Pastoral Ministry, Tyndale Seminary, Toronto.

"Ball and Puls do an amazing job of bringing a sensitive issue to the light. Filled with powerful stories, up-to-date research, and godly counsel, Let Us Prey is a great resource that brings wisdom, guidance and healing to Christian leaders and church communities." ~ Tim Clinton, President, American Association of Christian Counselors.

"Let Us Prey contains ground-breaking research regarding the plague of narcissism in the church. It also provides practical direction in the diagnosis, intervention, and mitigation of narcissism in our pastorate and our congregations. A must-read. . ." Michal Patterson, Psychologist and Provost, Corban University.

"Painstakingly researched and terrifyingly realistic, this book shocks us into facing up to the monsters within the body of Christ who prey on the sheep rather than pray for them. Read it and equip yourself to identify and confront these predators with firmness and faith." ~ David Murray, Professor of Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.

Welcome to Heartbeat Conflict Consulting, online conflict consulting for faith communities.

My name is Darrell Puls and I have worked in organizational conflict management for more than 40 years.  Whether large or small, religious or secular, public or private, conflicts within organizations cost much more than many think. It includes lost time, lowered quality, sabotage, increased sick time, poor morale, employee turnover, and drastically lowered support from members and customers.

Organizational conflicts that are allowed to grow, and they WILL grow unless positive steps are taken, can eventually destroy the enterprise.

I am a professional mediator, researcher, writer, and conflict interventionist with more than 40 years of experience and training. I have served churches and denominations across North America as an on-site consultant, interventionist, and Peacemaker. 

In recent years I have specialized in researching, writing, and working directly with churches that have a pastor with strong narcissistic problems.

I am available by phone for consultations.

Call or email me. Initial consultations are always free. Phone: 509.308.2737
Email: Darrell@conflicttopeace.com

Dr. Darrell Puls

Healing after a narcissist pastor is impossible without authentic forgiveness!

That does not mean that the pastor faces no consequences or that what he or she did was acceptable. Just the opposite. It means that what happened was real and it did real harm to the congregation! It means that we as members must confront what happened head on. We must remember clearly - and examine ourselves for how we treated each other during the conflict. We must then offer - and seek - healing forgiveness from each other. 

Churches that have been through destructive conflict face a dilemma: they know they need to forgive and reconcile, but pastors rarely have any training in how to lead the process. And so they guess, but it almost always ends at a place where they declare, "Now we just have to leave it up to the Holy Spirit" and hope for the best.

No more! This dynamic, Holy Spirit-led process opens the doors to authentic forgiveness and healthy reconciliation. It takes wounded relationships into deep healing and leaves them stronger than they were before the conflict.

The Road Home is the perfect companion book to Let Us Prey. Every church that has experienced a toxic narcissist pastor will have deep, festering wounds that cry out for healing.

The contents and premises of this book have been scrutinized by top scholars, researchers, and practitioners. The foreword is by Everett Worthington, Jr., one of the most famous and respected forgiveness researchers and writers in the world. The book has also been endorsed by Dr. Tim Clinton, President of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and Dr. Paul Regan, President of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies.

The Road Home is available from booksellers worldwide in paperback and digital formats, including.