The Way Through “Church Hurt”

Have you experienced “Church Hurt?”

This subject isn’t everyone’s favorite to talk about, but it is a CRITICAL CONVERSATION that must be had.

This is what “Church Hurt” is: Church Hurt is the feeling you have when someone in the church harms you emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or physically. This hurt is particularly painful, especially when the people that harmed you were supposed to be representing the heart of God here on earth. . .

While many have tried to ignore their church hurt and move on, it does not work.

That is because you must go back and look your church hurt in the eye, and begin the work of forgiving, healing, and trying again with safe people.

Ignored or repressed hurt is a slippery slope. . . Based on Dr. Chip Dodd’s study around the eight primary feelings, this is what happens when you minimize your hurt:

  • The feeling of hurt gets twisted and sick, then turns into resentment.
  • Ignore your hurt long enough, and it becomes the fuel for revenge.
  • In your revenge, you ensure that others are hurt in the same way you were.

Attached to the feeling of hurt is a need, and the need of hurt is attention. If you are to heal from the church hurt you have experienced, here is the way forward:

  1. Tend to the hurt that happened to you
  2. Remember what happened through the mind & the heart
    (mind = here’s what factually happened, heart = here’s what that felt like)
  3. Talk out loud about that with a group of people who are safe
  4. Ask for their response

If you’re aware of your need for healing in this area, forgiveness is the way. Your hurt can lead you to the courage you need to try again with safe people.

One of the reasons why we have chosen a “group format” for our programs at Plumline is because if you were hurt in relationship, you can only heal in and through relationships. It is a powerful moment when you talk out loud about the harm that happened, and experience the response of safe people. Safe people are not trying to fix you, offer advice, or even encouragement. Safe people say “thank you” when you share, and in turn talk about the feelings they were having as you shared. This is how you begin to feel seen and known in places that you once felt misunderstood and lonely. Plumline exists somewhere between church small group and clinical therapy. While we are not clinical, we are able to offer you the safe space you need to explore and reclaim the world within.

If you’d like to hear or learn more about forgiveness and the church, I was recently on a podcast where we explored the subject. In the episode, you will discover the process that helps you journey from resentment and into healing.

You can listen to the full episode at

Here’s to moving through church hurt, and into healing and connection with those you trust. . .

Or call us anytime at 615.212.9391

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