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About the Book
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.
Wounded in the Church is an excellent book that portrays what can happen when Christians feel unwelcomed, neglected, or hurt by the church. Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward have created a book that explores an often unnoticed aspect of the church—that people are not as welcoming, accepting, or loving as they should be.
Through true stories, reflection, and anecdotes, Mr. Beeson and Mr. Hayward work through the damage that Christians can inflict through lack of care and compassion. They point out that it can be intentional or unintentional, which I believe to be the case.
This book is an unflinching look at how the Christian church is not always helpful or good for people. As someone who has been wounded by a church myself, this book resonated with me deeply. I struggle with my feelings about that church, even though I no longer attend that one. However, it has made it difficult to trust that my new church won’t do the same thing, which Mr. Beeson and Mr. Hayward also touch on.
After all, if one church has hurt you, how can you be certain the next one won’t? Feelings of judgment and shame often follow these wounds, and it is hard for humans to get rid of those after we have them. There is no way to entirely sure about how the next church will treat you and that feeling can be difficult to overcome if you were not shown love and care in a place that is meant to show all people both.
One of my favorite lines was one in which the authors tell us why we should show love and care toward other people, and I think it’s a perfect reflection of this book and why the church often fails to connect with people:
“However, there is great value in opening our hearts to other people with different persuasions. First of all, it can sharpen our own reasoning for taking such a stance. Second, it allows for the possibility that we might be wrong, or that our attitude needs some refining. But probably the greatest value in listening to someone else’s opinion is that we honor them and recognize their worth as a human being by giving them a voice…how many times do we violate this principle within the church by not allowing someone with a differing opinion to share their thoughts?”
This book is not all doom and gloom, however. The authors have taken years of ministry experience and worked out which types of churches or people cause wounds and those that don’t. It’s not an easy read but one I am still pondering and plan to come back to again.
I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who needs to understand why church doesn’t always make you happy. If you’ve been hurt by a church, this book is especially insightful and should help you consider your wounds in a new light. If you’ve never been hurt by one, I hope this book offers insight into the way it can happen.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from CelebrateLit. All 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.
July 27: Reading Is My SuperPower
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
To celebrate this tour, Whitaker House is giving away:
Grand Prize: Kindle Fire and Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward
First Place Prize: Walking by Faith mug with matching pen OR Bouquet of Blessings mug and Wounded in the Church
Second Place Prize: Walking By Faith pen and Wounded in the Church
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.