Pastors hurt people. Pastors hurt a lot of people. Shouldn’t they know better? Don’t they care? How can they be in leadership and treat people in a way that is painful and hurtful? How can they continue in leadership when they act in this manner?
I used to be a pastor. I wanted to be the best pastor there ever was. I put my entire being into loving people. I never wanted to treat people in the hurtful way other pastors had treated me. I purposed that I would do everything in my power to not bring pain to others. But I am human – and I ended up hurting people.
It is a shame that I hurt others, that I was insensitive, that I was demanding, that I was controlling. I feel awful about it now – yet I am human – and as much as I tried – I still hurt others. It took me a while to realize what a terrible pastor I was. Actually it wasn’t until I stopped pastoring that I realized just how many people I had hurt. It caused my heart so much pain to realize that the very people whom I loved and desired to encourage were actually the ones that I had let down. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I have don’t better?
Why do pastors who hurt others continue to pastor after they have inflicted so much pain? Pastors make a lot of mistakes just like anyone else. They can be insensitive, uncaring, controlling and demanding. If they are too busy “pastoring” they will not be aware of the damage that they are inflicting upon others. Oftentimes a pastor is arrogant. They think that they are untouchable just because they have a higher “spiritual rank” than others. Actually a true pastor should prove himself by being the lowest servant of all – just as Jesus was.
We live in a day and age when there is power and prestige that is given to many pastors – this is not Christ. Jesus came as the perfect pastor – a suffering saint, a broken lamb that was slain. Yet our society loves to honor man as if he were a God – this causes men such as pastors to begin to think they are something that they are really not.
So many people have been hurt by pastors that they never become a part of a church again – why bother? There is too much at risk. Why allow yourself the possibility of another pastor hurting you again? There could very well be millions who have been hurt in such a manner. I don’t believe this situation will change until the body of Christ comes back to the basics – true agape love, servitude, humility and caring.
With so much money in todays church there has sprouted a spirit of pride. “Pride goes before a fall.” The body of Christ has fallen – and its people have paid the painful price. We are like sheep without a shepherd. We are hurting without a balm. We are lost without a home. What should you do if you have been hurt by a pastor? Confront him or her. Precede this by prayer and fasting. Go in a spirit of brokenness and humility – but go. According to Matthew 18 you have a responsibility to confront the pastor of his or her wrongdoings. If you don’t do it how will he learn, how will he grow, how will he repent?
Go even if you are scared or uncertain. Go even if you are about to leave the church. He or she must hear the truth. How else can they change? They will continue to hurt others if their sin is not exposed. You have a right and a responsibility to go.
Should you leave the church if you have been hurt? Sometimes the hurt is so deep that it is best to find a new fellowship elsewhere. You notice I didn’t say “church.” As long as you are getting fellowship somewhere that is all that matters. You don’t need to be in a church building to find fellowship – it can be with just 2 or 3 other people who desire to read the Word and pray together. Fellowship is important and we are reminded not to forsake it – but it doesn’t have to be in a church building.
How can you heal from the pain? When a pastor has hurt you it is often so deep that it can leave scars of pain, resentment, bitterness and disillusionment. You don’t want to give the devil an opportunity by allowing the pain to fester. You need Inner Healing. Read all my posts on Inner Healing Each time you feel the old resentment or bitterness creep up once again apply the Balm of Gilead. Wounds can take years to heal – that is ok.
The important thing is for you to begin your healing journey so that you will not end up an ugly, bitter person who also in turn hurts others. Finally, I want to ask your forgiveness. I represent pastors – I am here to humbly and with a broken heart sincerely ask your forgiveness for all the pain your pastor has caused you. Would you forgive me? I know the pain is too great for you to forgive. So I ask you – would you allow Jesus to forgive your pastor through you? Just be a vessel of God’s love. Let Him do all the work. Allow His forgiveness to flow through you.
If you are Struggling with Forgiveness this teaching will help you. I am so very sorry that you were hurt by a pastor. You didn’t deserve it. You are precious to God and you deserve to be loved and honored.
You are the most valuable person on the planet. Your pastor made a lot of mistakes. One day he or she will see all the wrong that they have done – they will have to stand before Christ and give account of their actions. But you can be free of their wrongdoings and mistakes. Release them. Allow Christ’s love to flow through you. Allow healing.
“Dear Lord, I pray for your child who has been hurt by a pastor. Let them know how very precious they are to you. Shower them with your warmth and healing. Restore to them their joy, their peace and their hope. Let them know there are better days ahead. Give them the courage to confront the situation and address the problem. Bring them into fellowship with people who do love and appreciate them.” In Jesus name. amen