Hurt by Church Leaders

One of the blogs that I follow posted a very direct statement of concern with a church leader. I could sense the hurt and pain that led to the post.

I have been badly hurt by church leadership in the past. And here is what I have learned through that experience.

We can become a victim of the sinful, selfish, and hurtful acts of those in and around our lives including those in leadership in a church. And sometimes we choose to remain a victim when we have the opportunity to move on.

It takes courage to confront the issue and to seek reconciliation even if the other person is not mature enough to recognize the issue or to admit the hurtful act. Confront in love. Apologize for your own actions. And move on.

It is a waste of our potential to fixate on how things could have been or should have been. And it is not right to carry the hurt indefinitely over a long period of time.

It is not an easy thing to do. When we are hurt we expect our church leaders to care and to protect. And sometimes they do not. Just remember that God’s grace is greater than our hurt.

From 2 Corinthians 12:9:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 replies
  1. Sven
    Sven says:

    Richard, some wise words.

    I, too, have been hurt by church leadership in the past. So much so that I contemplated leaving paid-ministry.

    I think that leader or not, as a person it’s difficult to confront someone with issues, but it’s important that when we gather up the courage, or God gives it to us, we confront in a manner befitting an image-bearer of Christ. His call to proper confrontation and reconciliation in Matthew 18 applies no matter what technology strides our world takes.

    That said, I strive to be a leader worthy of the name, one who does care and protect, even though sometimes my efforts are mispercieved. Much like a parent whose punishment seems unloving, sometimes it is my job, as a leader, to confront others, and it seems harsh.

    My prayer is the same as yours, that God’s grace be sufficient, and that when disagreement arises, that it can be worked out in love and respect, Just remember, us leaders are fallible, and hopefully, I, for one, have the humility to know when I’m wrong, and the strength to stand for truth when I’m right!

  2. Ann
    Ann says:

    Hi Richard, Hi Sven,
    I appreciate both of your comments regarding being hurt by church leaders. I have often contemplated going back and thanking those particular leaders for the pain caused as I definitely grew and learned from the experience.
    Looking back I wince at the way I sometimes chose to confront those in leadership. I’m thankful that I have mellowed over the years.
    I still continue to pray for them and by doing so my own heart has changed towards them. I sincerely desire God’s best for them!


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