What Church Hurt Is

Series: Deconstruct | Reconstruct | Week 6: What About Church Hurt and Hypocrisy?

Read Proverbs 18:14 + 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. How does Proverbs 18:14 compare a sick body with a crushed spirit?
2. In 1 Thessalonians, how did Paul say he was treated?
3. What did God give him?

Church hurt is a term used to describe a wide range of experiences in which someone was let down, wounded, or trust was broken by someone within the church. While the term is relatively new, the concept is not. At the center of 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul relays his own experience of church hurt.

We’ll unpack this passage more throughout the week, but first, it’s important to acknowledge that church hurt is real, and it causes real pain. It’s also important to acknowledge that we can all contribute to it, whether we realize it or not. The only thing worse than denying our possible role is to diminish someone else’s experience. If someone is hurting, they need to be heard. If someone has been abused or mistreated, it needs to be appropriately handled.

If you’ve walked through church hurt, perhaps leaving you tired, burned out, shamed, betrayed, or “crushed in spirit,” know that there is hope. Reconciliation may not be possible, but forgiveness always is. If you’re walking alongside someone who has experienced church hurt, take time to listen, understand, and let them see Jesus through your actions.

What is your overall reaction to church hurt? Do you tend to deny that it exists or avoid the subject altogether? How is God challenging you in this viewpoint?
Have you walked through church hurt yourself, perhaps even recently? What or who is giving you a glimpse of hope in the midst of it? Is there anyone you can reach out to for help and healing? (If you want to talk with one of our pastors, you can reach out through our Contact Us form or by emailing info@tpcc.org.)
If you’re not personally experiencing church hurt, how can you reflect Jesus to those around you, especially those who may be hurting?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Want to go deeper? Visit the Traders Point app or this link to see our recommended resources for this week’s topic. If you want to catch Sunday’s message again, you can find it here.

Deconstruct | Reconstruct