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About the Book
Book title: Wounded in the Church
Author: Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward
Release date: March 14, 2017
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.
I was slightly hesitant to read this book because I never felt as if I was wounded in church. Yes, my family and I have changed churches once. However, it truly was a peaceful transition. I felt the Lord pulling me in one direction and shared that with my current pastor. We left on good terms, and my husband’s family still attend our old church. We are still friends with the pastor and his wife along with several church members. So as I am looking at this book, I am pondering whether reading it is the right thing to do. And then I started to read….
First let me say that I did not totally agree with everyone brought to light here. But that is just my interpretation of what the authors were trying to say. Sometimes I feel that we, as people, over analyze and over think situations in our life, and yes dare I say overreact, and I almost feel as if this might be a tool for those people who tend to overreact to situations. Now please do not misinterpret what I am saying. There are people who truly get wounded in church. Some of the stories in this book are proof. But let me provide an example: At my old church one of the minister’s daughters got married. She had two bridal showers, one for the church members and one for friends and family. Now, even if you were friends with the bride, if you were in attendance at the church shower, they opted not to invite you to the other bridal shower. No pressure to buy two gifts, and left opportunities to invite other guests. We had one family in our church that got offended that they were not invited to the friends and family bridal shower, and so they left. They hardly speak to anyone at our church now, not a single church member. It seems so silly to me! This bride to be was upfront and honest about her decisions regarding the showers, and everyone in the church accepted it and supported it. Except for this one family.
So as I am reading this chapters of this book, I found myself remembering this scenario, which happened about 12 years ago. It made me look at the situation in a new light. Perhaps some of us church members should have reached out to this family more and tried to discuss the situation with them. Maybe we really did wound them. There are always two sides to a story, and maybe we didn’t give their side of the story the time and attention it deserved.
That being said, I felt that this was more of a book discussing what and what not to look for in a church. How people should treat you, biblical standards to look for, lies to be on the lookout for. I did like the back of the book that provided specific bible references regarding many lies that Christians are told every single day. There are several different bible versions represented, so I recommend cross referencing with your own bible. But aside from some of the personal stories provided in he chapter, I did not feel as if I was reading how to recover from being wounded in church, or how to avoid wounding someone else in church. It just felt like a church do and don’t book.
Remember that in reading this, how it is taken is total interpretation. So some people may absolutely love this book and get a lot of out it. And I did have some moments of conviction from it and am thankful for it. It just was not what I totally expected it to be. I do recommend that others read it, whether you have been wounded in church or not. It may point some things out to you and be a great tool. And certainly if you are searching for that special church to be a part of, this can certainly help you in how to approach your search and weed out the non-biblical churches from the good ones.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Authors
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.
Guest Post from Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward
When we tell people we’ve written a book entitled “Wounded in the Church,” many nod knowingly. Sadly, the pain and heartache that happens in churches is all too common. Collectively, the two of us have spent more than 70 years in ministry. During that time we have seen neglect, tactlessness, and blatant insensitivity fostered by some leaders and congregations resulting in the wounding of others. We realize it is not prolific in every church, but the wounding is significant and it needs to be exposed. That is why we wrote this book – we share real stories of real people who were wounded in church, a place that should be a shelter of God’s love and peace. Sometimes people are abused by leaders or church members. There are also times when leaders are abused by people within the congregation. As you read, perhaps you’ll identify with some of the situations described. If so, be assured you are not alone. If you have been wounded, it is our hope and prayer God uses this book to facilitate healing. Because of Jesus Christ, there is hope beyond the pain.
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July 27: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
July 28: A Reader’s Brain
July 29: cherylbbookblog
July 29: Mary Hake
July 30: Moments Dipped in Ink
July 31: Remembrancy
August 1: Carpe Diem
August 2: Books, Books, and More Books.
August 3: History, Mystery & Faith
August 4: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
August 4: Just the Write Escape
August 5: The Power of Words
August 6: A Baker’s Perspective
August 7: Just Jo’Anne
August 8: Lots of Helpers
August 8: God’s Little Bookworm
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