Church hurt: We all know what it means. And nothing is being done about it.
In my limited 22 years of living, if I look back at everyone who has shown me disrespect, especially in the last few years, 99% of it has come from someone in a ministry role.
(I’d like to say that I don’t think I deserve or am entitled to respect, but I think people in ministry positions should show respect to to the people they’re serving/serving with.)
Why is this a thing? Why is “church hurt” such a common phrase? It’s pathetic. It’s absolutely pathetic to see a ministry turn its back on the people inside it.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:9-21 ESV
If we follow these passages as they should be followed, “church hurt” suddenly doesn’t exist.
If we “abhor what is evil” and “hold fast to what is good,” there’s no hypocrisy that so many see in us.
If we “love one another with brotherly affection” and “outdo one another in showing honor,” then suddenly no one is being rejected by their brothers and sisters in Christ.
If we “bless those who persecute” us and “do not curse them,” we have literally no reason to show any disrespect or rejection to anyone.
If we “live in harmony with one another” and “give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all,” we lose the disrespect: the talking behind each others’ backs, silenty judging each other, leaving each other out of things, secretly disdaining each other and a whole host of other problems.
There’s a difference between convicting ministry and disrespectful ministry.
Convicting ministry is pointing out someone’s wrongs to that person’s face and encouraging them to fix their mistakes for the glory of God and the betterment of themselves.
Disrespectful ministry is pointing out someone’s wrongs behind that person’s back causing him/her to lose the respect of his/her brothers and sisters in Christ without that person ever knowing why.
Convicting ministry is understanding that people have differences and those differences are okay, no matter how strongly we hold to our own opinions.
Disrespectful ministry is putting down people who think differently than you and attacking them for doing so.
In ministry, everyone who experiences the ministry should leave feeling like they’re loved and respected by everyone involved, especially the leadership. That should be a given. Just something to think about.