Church should be a safe place, right? Then why do so many get hurt there? Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward combine their years of ministry experience to address head-on the elephant in the room: church members and church leaders hurt Christians. All the time. And the long-lasting effects—rejection, shame, despair, loneliness, fear—can be devastating. The authors have witnessed the rise of the “dones,” those who are just done with God thanks to scars from church. With first-person stories of hurt and loss, this book is a wake-up call for any who deny woundedness in the church but is also a redemptive message for any who hurt from church wounds. Leaders and laypeople alike will learn how to grieve over abuse, to leave unhealthy attitudes and patterns that cause pain, and to trust in God’s real, delivering work through churches that build up, not tear down. Thanks to the grace of God, there is always hope beyond the pain.
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About the Author
Ray Beeson is the director of Overcomers Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. Ray teaches seminars on spiritual warfare, prayer, and Christlike living and is the author of numerous books including Signed in His Blood (Charisma House, 2014) and The Hidden Price of Greatness (Overcomers, 2000). Ray and his wife, Linda, live in Ventura, CA. Chris Hayward has had over thirty-six years of pastoral ministry and is currently serving as president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, a discipleship ministry that works with the local church around the world. He is also the author of God’s Cleansing Stream (Chosen Books, 2004) and The End of Rejection (Chosen Books, 2007). Chris and his wife, Karen, live in Castaic, CA.
Table of Contents
Part I The Pain
1 I Thought Church Would Be Different 17
2 The Pain Goes So Deep 24
3 Where Does All This Pain Come From? 36
4 Nobody Sees Me 45
5 I Feel Beat Up in Church 53
6 I Live in Shame All the Time 63
7 I Feel Used 86
8 I Can't Forgive 102
Part II The Hope
9 Will I Ever Get Past the Pain? 117
10 Why Do I Feel So Unsafe in Church? 128
11 I Can't Keep Up with All the Rules 137
12 What's Wrong with These People? 152
13 I Just Need to Be Perfect 171
14 The Church Doesn't Seem to Care 184
15 How Do I Find a Good Church? 206
16 Hope Beyond the Pain 224
Appendix A Demonic Lies and Doctrines 236
Appendix B 101 Principles for Living in the Kingdom of Light 246
About the Authors 252
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A deep look at a very difficult subject. The authors start by addressing the fact that many are wounded in the church and this issue needs to be addressed so people can find healing. They then take the time to focus on a few of the ways that this wounding occurs. It is very clearly laid out and dealt with. I found the first section of the book to be very hard to read. It brought back memories of wounds that I received from those in leadership in churches I attended in the past. I really appreciate the fact that they then went on in part 2 of the book to discuss the hope that we have to be healed from those wounds. They carefully lay out steps that need to be taken without making it a canned approach to wholeness. The one thing that I really love is the fact that they make it very clear the first step to healing is KNOWING that our identity is in Christ! Everything else presented is built upon this foundation. The other thing that I was very happy to see was how much scripture they use to explain the points that they were making. I received a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Wounded in the Church is an excellent book that portrays what can happen when Christians feel unwelcomed, neglected, or hurt by the church. Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward have created a book that explores an often unnoticed aspect of the church—that people are not as welcoming, accepting, or loving as they should be. Through true stories, reflection, and anecdotes, Mr. Beeson and Mr. Hayward work through the damage that Christians can inflict through lack of care and compassion. They point out that it can be intentional or unintentional, which I believe to be the case. This book is an unflinching look at how the Christian church is not always helpful or good for people. As someone who has been wounded by a church myself, this book resonated with me deeply. I struggle with my feelings about that church, even though I no longer attend that one. However, it has made it difficult to trust that my new church won’t do the same thing, which Mr. Beeson and Mr. Hayward also touch on. After all, if one church has hurt you, how can you be certain the next one won’t? Feelings of judgment and shame often follow these wounds, and it is hard for humans to get rid of those after we have them. There is no way to entirely sure about how the next church will treat you and that feeling can be difficult to overcome if you were not shown love and care in a place that is meant to show all people both. One of my favorite lines was one in which the authors tell us why we should show love and care toward other people, and I think it’s a perfect reflection of this book and why the church often fails to connect with people: “However, there is great value in opening our hearts to other people with different persuasions. First of all, it can sharpen our own reasoning for taking such a stance. Second, it allows for the possibility that we might be wrong, or that our attitude needs some refining. But probably the greatest value in listening to someone else’s opinion is that we honor them and recognize their worth as a human being by giving them a voice…how many times do we violate this principle within the church by not allowing someone with a differing opinion to share their thoughts?” This book is not all doom and gloom, however. The authors have taken years of ministry experience and worked out which types of churches or people cause wounds and those that don’t. It’s not an easy read but one I am still pondering and plan to come back to again. I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who needs to understand why church doesn’t always make you happy. If you’ve been hurt by a church, this book is especially insightful and should help you consider your wounds in a new light. If you’ve never been hurt by one, I hope this book offers insight into the way it can happen. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward is a theologically sound book, written about a difficult subject. With a combined total of more than 70+ years of experience in Christian ministry, these authors pull no punches in discussing the fact that people are wounded in the church and with this commentary are increasing awareness in the hopes of bringing repentance, forgiveness, change and the hope of healing. The book is written clearly and simply with specific examples of individuals from all walks of life who have encountered negativity, demands for perfection and emotional pain from people in a church setting. The book is organized into two sections, one defining the pain and the second highlighting the hope of healing, acceptance, and restoration through the love of Jesus Christ. Each chapter is steeped in scripture and ends with a Proverb and Psalms for the Wounded. One particular chapter, Will I ever get past the pain?, has a very powerful message of hope, of coming to know that the past that might have paralyzed one's life does not have to define the future. Understanding your identity in Christ, taking every thought captive, being full of courage, and learning to forgive are important keys to moving past the pain. Another chapter I found helpful was one that lists cliches (e.g. "you're too damaged to serve the Lord."), incomplete or confusing statements others may state (e.g. "Just trust God."), and statements a person might tell himself (e.g. "I've sinned so much God won't save me."). With each of the statements listed the authors give answers and scriptures to unmask the deception of the statements and show the truth from God's Word. The church should be a safe place where people can not only survive but thrive, where individuals can experience reconciliation, not division and yet the church is made up of people...people who are not perfect. This informative and enlightening book gives hurting individuals hope that finding a sense of love, compassion, and acceptance in a church setting is possible...hope that is realized when the body of Christ offers His love and ministers healing in His name. Wounded in the Church is timely and church leaders and laymen alike will benefit from its message. I received a complimentary copy of this book via CelebrateLit. A favorable review was not required and opinions are my own. This review is part of a CelebrateLit blog tour.
Hypocritical. Judgmental. Rigid. Unforgiving. Condemning. Often words that are used to describe the church are ugly. They come from places of deep hurt from people who have experienced the opposite of what God intended his church to be. Whether a visitor, a longtime church member, or a pastor, people have indeed left churches because they have been wounded by others there. Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward come together and offer hope and advice to those who have been hurt by Christians as well as those who have done the hurting. In part one of Wounded in the Church, they address the areas where church members as well as leadership may hurt others. Part two offers solutions and insight into how we can become better at accepting people where they are, at letting God do the convicting, the shepherding, the growing of individuals. Unfortunately, this book is needed in today’s church. Beeson and Hayward approach each of the issues with love and care. Their words are grounded in scripture as they encourage readers to take a look at themselves in order to create the church as God intended. One of love. Hope. Healing. Acceptance. Comfort. Aren’t those words beautiful? Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
WOUNDED IN THE CHURCH by Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward. This book is an eyeopener. It makes one stop and think no matter if you are the one that has been wounded or you are the person causing it. This is a book that should be read by all who claim to be a Christian and those who are a Christian. Great read. I received a complementary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4.0 stars!
A friend of mine gave me the book to read for resource purposes and I ended up being able to deal with issues from my past I had forgotten about. Invaluable resource for not only pastors and counselors, but individuals as well - especially hurting ones. Healing is better than harboring the pain