I think it is fair to say that if we get burnt by the fire we stay away from the fire. In most cases, I think that if someone hurts you, you probably stay away from them or at least be very wary of them in the future.If you prefer to listen to this message, Click HERE
But what do you do when a church does you wrong or at best you feel it has done you wrong?
While researching for this message, I found over twenty-five reasons why people leave a church. I have selected the ones that I have seen over the dozen years or so.
- The church hires a new senior leader. This may also come with staff changes but most cases, the church takes a new direction completely;
- Churches that announce new initiatives or new formats without considering all the consequences;
- Those that jump in and are involved with everything. Sooner not later, they start running out of time for some of their responsibilities or they just get plain worn out and programs start to lose out;
- There are those that don’t feel a connection. Please I know, churches are to worship, praise, and hear God’s word but you also need connection;
- Those that have cliques and nepotism. You are welcome to our church, even volunteer, but if you want to do more you have to be a member of the clique or a staff member’s favorite;
- When you have a relationship conflict, one or both leave to find a new church;
Today, we are going to talk about what to do when you get hurt by a church. We all have our own expectations of what we are looking for in a church. When this does not happen, we feel slighted or hurt, in which case we either leave the church permanently or we leave to find another place to worship.
I have been hurt by a church as well as seen others that have been hurt by churches. I have seen people change churches or stopped attending because they don’t like the change of worship music or the substitute Sunday School teacher.
However, Jesus shows us that there is a solution to all of this. Follow these steps and you will be back in the four walls of a church where you need to be long before you know it.
Whether you are sick or hurt, you need time to heal. Think of when that significant other broke your heart, you needed to heal before you can move on.
However, while you are healing whether that be the spiritual, emotional or physical element, you need to continue with your study of the word. You need to lean on God and ask Him to guide you through this situation. If we allow God to use the hurt for our good and His purposes, it can be used to increase our love for Him and His people. Isaiah 41:10
An anonymous author quoted,” Sometimes you have to follow your heart no matter the consequences. Now you are immersed in God’s word, you need to ask God to guide you in treating others the way you wish to be treated.
So, when you enter a church of your choice, you expect to be shown grace, acceptance, love, and patience. Love always assumes the best. 1 Corinthians 12:7
Most cases this is not the normal. Now in my experiences, you may receive all of that for a short time, but the honeymoon wears off quickly.
It would be wise at this point to make this statement. Although I truly believe you have been hurt by the church or feel like you have been hurt by the church, but now would be a good time to ensure that your hurt isn’t your own ego or better yet God’s way of telling you something different from what you want.
We all remember moving days I am sure and all the crazy feelings. Moving away to college, moving back home, moving into the married home or moving into the first purchased home.
Each of those times you had to make the move. Well this time is no different. After you have had time to heal you need to move back into the community. Before you make that move, ask God to help you to put the hurt aside, to give you’re a heart for His people, and remember to love and forgive is a principle our Savior teaches. 1 Peter 4:8
It is important to note here that Peter doesn’t tell us to give up meeting together unless you have been hurt. He declares “Don’t give up”. John 13:35
No matter what, we all have our faults. Yes, some more than others. The same goes for churches as well. Churches has many congregants and it would be quite hard for every decision made would please everyone. We may never know, but we could have done something that cause someone else to be hurt and they left the church.
We must rely on God’s word and guidance to continue to erase the images of the pass as we move on. This in turn will guide us how to treat others. Remember God is the only one that heal and change our heart.
With God’s grace, and we don’t quit, our perseverance just might motivate someone else. This in turn will help change the church.
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