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.
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About the Author
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.
RAY BEESON is the director of Overcomers Ministries, regularly teaches seminars on subjects such as 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 is president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, Before that, he was in pastoral ministry for eighteen years and served as founding pastor of Christian Fellowship Church in Mount Vernon, IL, for eleven of those years. Also 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.
Table of Contents
Part I The Pain
1 I Thought Church Would Be Different 17
2 The Pain Goes So Deep 24
3 Where Does All This Pain Come From? 36
4 Nobody Sees Me 45
5 I Feel Beat Up in Church 53
6 I Live in Shame All the Time 63
7 I Feel Used 86
8 I Can't Forgive 102
Part II The Hope
9 Will I Ever Get Past the Pain? 117
10 Why Do I Feel So Unsafe in Church? 128
11 I Can't Keep Up with All the Rules 137
12 What's Wrong with These People? 152
13 I Just Need to Be Perfect 171
14 The Church Doesn't Seem to Care 184
15 How Do I Find a Good Church? 206
16 Hope Beyond the Pain 224
Appendix A Demonic Lies and Doctrines 236
Appendix B 101 Principles for Living in the Kingdom of Light 246
About the Authors 252