Ellen Gillette has been writing professionally for two decades as a weekly newspaper columnist and freelance writer for Christian and secular magazines. A children's book will be published in 2012. "Baaad Sheep" came out of a desire to see people free of the hurts caused by Christians. "We expect to feel safe at church, but that isn't always the case."
Where did you get the idea for "Baaad Sheep"?
I was actually working on a fiction manuscript, looking at various potential publishers online. I happened upon CarePoint Publishing's website and saw quickly that they were a niche publisher - only discussion group workbooks. There was a little response box for people who had an idea for a workbook. The idea for "Baaad Sheep," about the hurts we encounter within church walls, popped into my head, so I sent it to them.
The digital edition on Smashwords isn't a workbook, though. What happened with that?
Originally, the material was published by CarePoint in a workbook format with an accompaniment CD containing additional material. I had the privilege of leading a 10-week study at my own church and learned so much from the others in the class. It was also gratifying to hear about churches who were using the material, or individuals working through the material as a personal study. But when CarePoint closed its doors, and several respected people in my life encouraged me to change the format to straight prose, I decided to change it up, make it more accessible to more readers.
Church/spiritual abuse takes many forms. It can range from sexual molestation to gossip and character assassination. Whatever form it takes, however, one thing is certain: It leaves scars. Often those abused leave the church never to return; sometimes they stay, afraid to leave, paralyzed by fear, insecurity, and shame. "Baaad Sheep" provides practical, biblical help in resolving issues.