Religion  153

Something happened to my family recently, something from which we have not yet recovered. We have been deeply wounded by our church–though we still love it– and we’re  trying to figure out God’s purpose for the situation and learn how we should respond to it.  I have kept silent until now, but God made me a writer, so I will read and write and research until I find the answers I need.

As I grappled to find something to cling to in a sea of emotional upset, I turned to my books . . . and lit upon a subject that had never really interested me because, frankly, it had never really AFFECTED me.  But now it has, and so I’ve decided to do my long-overdue dissertation on the subject.  And I’ve already learned so much that I thought I’d share some of my findings with you before I publish it as a book.  I promise to make it as interesting and relevant as possible.

My topic?  Biblical church government.  What the scriptures say about how churches should be governed by its staff and congregation.  Contrasted with real life examples of how worldly management systems, philosophies, and practices have thrown scriptural practices and biblical communication out the window, wounding the body of Christ in the process.

I will also be putting together a questionnaire for other people who have been wounded by their church–and I know people all over the world  have left the church because they were hurt. For my dissertation, I would love to hear from these folks to discover the roots of these problems and see how proper biblical leadership could alleviate the situation.  So if you are or you know someone who has been wounded by their church, please have them check this blog for news about the questionnaire.  I’ll have it up soon.  Thank you!



  1. Clyde Osterhaus Thayer

    Hi Angie – I would be happy to share with you the story that led me away from my former church a couple of years ago and to a much better place now. There is a lot of this going on right now, and I think it’s great that you are going to tackle the subject. It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude! cot

  2. Dina

    Thank you! I so look forward to this. We, too, continue to ask the Lord how to respond in our situation. I’ll be praying for you as you go through this difficult journey, as well.

  3. Bill Robinson


    We were also wounded by our church through some harsh words from the pastoral staff that were said even though an apology was given later. We attended this church for more than 13 years and the pastor has been a friend of mine for more than 25 years. We are not church hoppers and have often submitted to church discipline for the sake of spiritual growth. God had been calling us to the mission field and though the wounding was not God’s will, He used it to help us make the transition away local ministry to foreign ministry.

    Forgiveness has been given and those pastors are still good friends. However, we did not feel comfortable with asking them to continuing pastoring us. We have found another church from the same organization as our church in Costa Rica with which to be accountable (trying not to end my sentences in a preposition when writing one who used to teach me English!).

    Again, I stress that the situation with our old church was quickly resolved, friendships restored, and all forgiven, but we did not feel comfortable submitting to them. Once burned, twice shy I guess. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

  4. Elaine

    So sorry that any of us experience hurt in the place that should show grace. Often ponder where it might be different, knowing it isn’t.

  5. Angie

    Thank you for the comments, public and private. Humans are frail, and so we are not immune from being hurt and sometimes causing hurt. I am looking forward to studying the scriptures to find ways that we can employ biblical principles to heal some of those wounds.

    This blog, of course, is read by folks all over the world, so let me hasten to assure our local friends and church family that my husband and I are okay. I know all the people involved love the Lord and are committed to the church, so don’t worry about us. God is sovereign, and we are trusting Him to lead us forward — Angie

  6. Mary Kay

    Oh, Angie, I look forward to reading and “discussing” this issue. You have a way of shining light on deep issues, and I expect healing will flow. Prayers, always,

  7. Kathryn Mackel

    We’re in the post-wounded, pre-moving-forward stage in our church life. I suspect some of your research will mirror what we’re now going through in our “Intentional Interim” as we seek to heal the wounded and rally the faithful. I’m in a different position in terms of being “in the church” that some have felt wounded by. The biggest issue we have faced is that, being a congregational church, we’re used to everything being in the open and often subject to vote. The nugget in our period of pain happened behind closed doors (as it should have). So when issues were brought forward, the membership was caught short. It was a lose-lose either way.

    The The central focus of our transition will be seeking who (as a body) God is calling us to be. I’m not sure how that is going to work though I am part of the team! Thanks for being willing to share, Ang. Many blessings. Kathy


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