One of my “go to” books in ministry is Wounded by God’s People by Anne Graham Lotz. We don’t have to be in ministry very long until we are hurt by someone and it hurts deeply when it is a church member. The reason it hurts deeply is because all we have done is love them, laugh with them, cry with them and serve them. What do we do with that hurt? We must deal with it or it will turn into anger and bitterness.
I wish I had known about this book when we experienced what we call a “Hostile Take-over Attempt” several years ago. That was one of the most painful times in our ministry. We had people that helped us plant the church turn on us and told lies about us and tried to take the church over. But God gave us the strength to stand up to the church bullies and draw a line in the sand that we would stay until God told us to leave. This was what my husband calls a graduate course that we had to go through in order to be better equipped for Care for Pastors. And that has proven to be true time and time again because we can sit with any pastor and/or spouse and understand what they are going through because we have been there. I can honestly say I am thankful for that course because now we can be good stewards of the pain. I believe God allows us to go through storms and pain so we can comfort others. II Corinthians 1:3-4 “ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
In Anne’s book she talks about how to break the cycle of pain. Here is a description of this vital book:
Everyone has been wounded…hurt…neglected…by others. But as Anne Graham Lotz looks back on her life, the sad truth is that her most painful wounds were inflicted by religious people—God’s people. People she had grown to love and to trust. But people whose words and behavior were inconsistent with what they said they believed. Anne not only understands the wounded, she also understands how easy it is for the wounded to become wounders themselves.
In this book, Anne breaks the silence of the wounded and the wounders, in order to break the cycle of pain. Drawing on the biblical story of Hagar, Anne leads those who have been hurt by God’s people on a path of discovering the healing power of God’s redemptive love.
This book is a love story….yours!
This will be a book that you will go back to over and over again because we will continue to get hurt over and over again. But when you do, use the II Corinthians 1:4 principle and comfort others with the comfort you have received.
A pastor friend once told me, “Hurt people hurt people, but healed people heal people.” And that is so true; if we don’t deal with our hurt and allow God to heal us then we will become the wounder. Don’t let that happen in your life; let this book be a tool that you use over and over again.
We are here to come alongside you on your ministry journey!