2 Primary Audiences:

  • Those who have been hurt by the church
  • Those who have friends who have been hurt by the church and want the language to help them heal


If you have been hurt by the church:

  • God sees you
  • He understands your pain
  • Jesus was betrayed by Judas
  • You are not alone

Let’s break down Church Hurt



What is the church?

  • The gathering of God’s people

Church = Ekklesia

A called-out assembly or congregation.
Romans 16:5

5 Greet also the church that meets in their home.


1 Corinthians 15:9

9 For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.


Acts 8

3 Saul, however, was ravaging the church. He would enter house after house, drag off men and women, and put them in prison.


Acts 9

3 As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”


5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said.

“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Jesus loves HIS church

  • Part of the reason he came is to START the church


That means…

The Church is not a NECESSARY EVIL but is God’s GIFT and PLAN for the expansion of His kingdom in this world


The church IS NOT perfect

  • Because it is made up of IMPERFECT PEOPLE
  • You and me


Old Saying:

If you find a perfect church, don’t go there because you’ll ruin it…

The church is messy because WE are messy

  • But it is still worth it
  • Is Still God’s PLAN FOR THE WORLD


Now, let’s talk about HURT…



Part of being alive learning to deal with hurt

  • Learn it as kids
  • Getting picked on
  • Getting picked last
  • Etc


  • You cannot control that


You CAN control how you RESPOND


To get over being hurt, you must WANT to get over being hurt

  • Whether they apologize or not
  • Whether they know or not
  • Regardless of how wrong it was


Learning to get over hurt is a HUGE part of being a Christian


Ephesians 4

Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope, at your calling—5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.


When you hold onto hurt, you become one/both of these two things…



Both of these rob you:

  • Joy
  • Purpose
  • Love
  • Ability to forgive (over time)


Things to know about Church hurt:

1: Community is HARD but NECESSARY

A plant in a window grows toward the light

  • You grow to whatever is feeding you


A church family can be messy

  • But it can also be beautiful


You do not grow in Isolation


Christian community teaches

  • Patience
  • Selflessness
  • Servant’s hearts
  • Forgiveness


Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.


You NEED the church, and the church NEEDS you


2: Don’t put on the church what is really human brokenness

Hurt people, hurt people


The church is a SIGNPOST to something greater


The church is one of the only things that people give up on when hurt

  • Bad Doctors
  • Bad teachers
  • Bad lawyers
  • Bad bosses


There are some unhealthy churches and pastors…

  • For every 1 bad, there are 1000 good


It’s easy to blame the “CHURCH” when really it was just a few specific people who hurt you

3: There is a difference between church HURT and Church DISCIPLINE

Correction stings

  • Discipline doesn’t always feel good


Hebrews 12:11

11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.


Discipline is a part of true love

The church is called to be a part of God’s discipline


1 Thessalonians 5

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.


The church and its leaders are called to use church discipline for those in the church who are living outside of the boundaries of Christian faith/practice


When disciplined, your PRIDE is hurt

  • If you cannot accept church discipline, they you cannot truly follow those God has called to lead the church
  • Then you cannot truly follow God


4: Be careful where you put your trust

Just because someone says they are for you doesn’t mean they are…


1 John 4:1

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.


Spirit of decrement

  • Ask that God would give it to you


Some of you have been hurt because you too quickly put your trust in someone who hadn’t earned it

  • But not ok to NEVER TRUST AGAIN


Not always suspicious, but always careful

5: Hurt by Pastor vs attendees

Some are hurt by church attenders

Some are hurt by the pastor

  • This kind of hurt can be devastating


A big difference between being hurt by a church member vs a pastor/leader


What to do…

1: Go to leadership if there is a problem

  • How is the church structured
  • Does the Pastor/leader have oversight over them
  • Is it a kingdom, and the Pastor is the king?


2: If your concerns are heard, and there was true cause

  • Repentance and apology from leaders


3: If not heard, QUIETLY leave and find another community

  • Don’t try to burn it down before going
  • You are always to be right before God


Pastors are called to a higher calling

  • But they are still people who make mistakes
  • Who sometimes let power be more important than people

Don’t place a pastor in the place of Jesus

  • No personal pope
  • Have a HEALTHY RESPECT for church leadership

6: The church CAN and SHOULD do better

We are the hands and feet of Jesus in the world

  • The world will change THROUGH US


Be better at:

  • Calling out sin in love
  • Not being hypocrites
  • Practicing what we preach
  • Loving those outside the kingdom into the kingdom
  • Being quick to apologize when we hurt someone


The best way to heal from church hurt is through the church

  • Being part of a healthy church community
  • Growing in your faith – Can’t be done alone

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