No church founder or planter likely intends to start a church with the stated goal of allowing abuse or abusing those within it. Yet sadly and too often, even in the best of churches abuse does occur. The bitter fruit of abuse does not appear from nowhere. Its origins, the soil in which it grows, and the structures that support it need be understood if we are to eradicate this fruit from within our churches and Christian organizations. Bitter Fruit: Dysfunction and Abuse in the Local Church describes those psychologies, social psychologies, and inadequate theologies that are frequently true in churches that enable abuse, regardless of the form the abuse may take. It is vital that you understand these things if you are a pastor, leader, or lay person seeking to maintain a healthy church environment.