I recently read an article about one woman’s experience with church hurt. The article itself brought a certain kind of pain to my heart. I must admit, I’ve been blessed; I’ve never had to deal with this issue so to know that this sort of thing is happening in the church, saddens me.
I’ve heard stories where people have left the church disappointed because pastors, bishops, or other leaders in the church were not living the good word they were preaching…
I’ve heard stories where people have left the church because they themselves were tired of being judged and condemned by the church…
And I’ve heard stories where people have left the church because they felt like the church was more concerned with money and the business part of it, as opposed to spreading the Gospel and teaching of God’s word.
When you’ve been hurt by the church, how do you handle it? Leave the church?… Confront the issue?… or Bury the issue and stay? When people are hurt by a church or church member, how can this conflict be resolved? A better question would be… How should it be resolved?
Here are a few things you should consider before reacting:
1. Take it to God First in Prayer
Your first reaction may be to react in an ungodly manner or your first reaction may be to run and never look back. But before you do anything, Pray about it first! If you choose to confront the issue, ask God to give you a loving way to explain why you feel hurt. He will help you choose your words wisely. Whatever you decide to do, don’t leave God out of it!
2. Don’t Let Anyone Control Your relationship with God
You’ve had a negative experience with one church and the experience has left you wondering if Church is even for you. They’ll be days when you will want to avoid God’s word, but don’t give up on God. Knowing God’s word will help us as we process hurt and find truth to satisfy and guide us.
3. There are plenty of Good Churches. Don’t Let one Church spoil it for them all.
One church may have left a bad taste in your mouth, but don’t make the mistake of giving other churches a negative label before you even give them a try. Not all churches are the same. When I first moved to Texas from California, I was a church hopper before I found my church home… But once I walked through those doors, I knew I had found the one.
Or you may choose not to go to church based solely off of the not so good stories you’ve heard from others. And to you I say, “you are doing yourself a great disservice”.
As far as myself, I crave it. I enjoy fellowshipping with other believers. Sometimes when I feel myself getting off track, my spiritual family is there to steer me back in the right direction and I love it!
Now on the flip side… Some pastors make a ministry out of “church hurt”. They cater to those who have already been hurt by the church. They tiptoe around God’s word and serve up watered down sermons to not offend anyone. They fear of running anyone away from the church, which is a legitimate concern, but let’s not forget the real reason we were called into ministry; to teach the word of God, not what the world wants to hear.