Show Notes:

Carla interviews her very own pastor, Timothy Woodcock, to talk about all things Church hurt - including how to move forward with healing in faith rather than letting the hurt steer you away from God.

Key Takeaways:

  • Carla introduces her Pastor, Tim Woodcock, and invites him to share a bit about himself! He shares about loving God, his family, basketball and a life that is trial by fire and saturated in God’s grace.
  • Carla asks Tim about his experience with church hurt and Time shares how he grew up as a PK (Pastor’s Kid) and how he had an inside look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of all sides of the church from a young age. His experience as a PK led him to see most hurt exchanged between congregation members as well hurt heaped at his father who was a pastor, just doing the best he could as a man of God. After 20 years of ministry, he himself has been exposed to leadership damaging congregants and noted that this season in the church is shedding a light on mis-leadership in the church. He sums it up with “Hurt people, hurt people” - how we are all working out our brokenness in real time (pastors included) and can have messy communities.
  • Carla agrees with Tim, and expands by saying “Pastors are not God” and how congregants often look to leadership to fill a perfect role God designed uniquely for Jesus to fill, which can lead to false expectations.
  • Carla asks how much of church hurt do pastors own, and how much do congregants own? Tim shares that conflict is inevitable, due to many factors - misunderstandings, disagreements, false expectations, holding people up on pedestals, etc. There are also leaders who are elevated into leadership before character is developed, many charismatic yet narcissistic leaders, abusive & manipulative leaders, and these leaders are being exposed. Tim addresses a season of exposure in the global church and affirms that exposure is a door to God’s grace, an opportunity to humble ourselves and repent and seek God’s will.
  • Carla asks how Tim would counsel someone who has been hurt by the church. Tim draws attention to unique people and situations, and how they call for specific responses. Tim tells listeners to seek God and ask why you feel hurt, and determine whether or not the situation calls for reconciliation - if so, pursue it with humility and God’s heart for others.
  • Every person is going to let you down, one way or another. What matters is how you respond to that let down. We’re not perfect, and remember to have grace.
  • Carla asks “How do you separate hurt from an imperfect body from a perfectly loving God?” Tim calls attention to deconstruction today, how many people deconstruct, not because of doctrine, but wrestle with how God is misrepresented by imperfect people in the church. The scriptures do not give us examples of perfect individuals, they tell an overwriting narrative of a perfect God working with all kinds of imperfect individuals. These characters are not the hero - God is the hero. He’s a perfect God, continuously & radically pursuing the hearts of all humans.
  • Tim draws attention to the grace of the Gospel, and Carla affirms that knowing the Word can protect you from hurt.
  • Carla talks about the power of conviction in love, and how that can be mistaken for hurt if you only look to the church to feel good. Tim shares experiences he’s had with this and confirms with “The Gospel confronts AND the Gospel comforts.” In a healthy church, your pride, arrogance and sin will be confronted, and you should also be comforted when you are in need of peace.
  • Carla sums up with three statements:
  1. We start with asking God about our hurt
  2. Operate with grace and forgiveness towards others
  3. Check your expectations
  • Tim closes by acknowledging that there are situations that are resolvable in the church AND there are many situations of abuse of power in the church. He shares how his heart breaks over those circumstances, and it is perfectly justifiable for congregants to leave those circumstances. No one should EVER stay in abuse, and you are not disobeying God by walking away from abusive power.
  • Carla shares a little bit about past experience leaving church abuse, and how she fought to stay in faith, saying that “While the author of my hurt came from the church and a church system, the author of my comfort came from the Head (God) of the church.” Take your hurt to God! Healing can’t happen in isolation.

Here Pastor Tim Woodcock's sermons -> https://www.youtube.com/user/GTBurlington

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