In conflict, comfort must come before correction. Parents and leaders make the mistake of being teachers when people really need a nurse.
In conflict, comfort must come before correction. Parents and leaders make the mistake of being teachers when people really need a nurse.
Imagine you are in your car and stopped at a light. The car in front of you is your teen driver. You start hearing a loud sound and wonder if it is the engine rattling. You veer off to the side of the road and call a tow truck. You wait for hours for them to show up and then invest another several hours at the auto repair shop waiting for your turn. They say nothing is wrong with the car, but you have to pay for the towing, mechanic’s labor, and diagnostic testing. What a waste of time, energy, and finances.
So what was the sound?
It was coming from the car in front of you.
They did not veer off and stop to get it looked at. Failure to fix what was wrong and continuing to drive on it caused even greater damage extending to other parts of the engine that were dependent upon the engine to work properly. The domino effect of not addressing the issue causes greater expense of time, energy, and finances.
Friends, this is a word picture for what happens in the Body.
Did you hear the noise coming from a vehicle? Yes!
Did you discern something was wrong? Yes!
Did you do what it took to take care of your own vehicle/heart? Yes!
But you failed to ask Jesus to show you if it was their issue or yours.
We waste our time and get worn out when we assume an issue is ours. We must ask Jesus to show us when we feel, discern, and experience things if this is coming from us or others. I can’t tell you how many parent coaching sessions I do with people who have been in the mechanic shop waiting and waiting to figure out what is wrong with them, only to have Jesus show us it was something going on in the other person.
Here’s where we miss it.
If it was the car in front of you, they need your help! Focusing on yourself and trying all sorts of self-diagnostic testing gets your eyes off of the assignment in front of you and puts it back on you.
If what you are discerning, feeling, and experiencing is coming from the person in front of you, they need:
Stop doubting yourself. You are hearing, seeing, experiencing, sensing, and discerning something because something is there. While we always want to be humble and let God examine our own hearts, sometimes you are on assignment to help the person in front of you. How you choose to respond significantly impacts how much damage that person’s ‘rattle’ will cost them and affect others.
The kids and I were praying for a friend walking through some deep hurts from their church. It was painful to see them hurting over what feels so unjust. We were reminded of some of our own experiences with imperfect leaders. Interactions with those in authority shape our spiritual development. One of the kids said, “Mom, really, what’s the point of church? People can just go to Jesus on their own.” It was a real and honest statement from a child who has seen the ‘ugly’ side of the church. I was moved to tears and said, “No, no, no, child. The church is Jesus, and we come to worship Him, not man. Just because man has been imperfect in leading like Jesus doesn’t mean we turn on the church. We love, honor, and respect the church, AND we walk through hurts, disappointments, and being misunderstood.” I realized in that moment how many children grow up resenting the church, not just from their own experience but from witnessing the church bring pain to their parents.
If being hurt by the church is something you have experienced, it is imperative that you walk through it with your children so that they do not gain a warped view of the church. I explained that the church is Jesus’ Body, just like we have a liver, spleen, nose, eyes, hair, arms, etc. The church is made up of all sorts of different people. Just because the liver is weak doesn’t mean we give up on the whole body. We pray for the liver to be healed and whole, but we don’t give up on it. The church is family, and we do not discard family just because they are imperfect.
We owe it to the next generation to invite, bridge, and restore them to the church!
Hurt in the Church – Hurt in the Church – YouTube – Why? How?
Hurt in the Church #1 – Hurt in the Church #1 – YouTube – Why God Told Me
Hurt in the Church #2 – Hurt in the Church #2 – YouTube – Exposing Real Enemy
Hurt in the Church #3 – Hurt in the Church #3 – YouTube – Purpose of Family
Hurt in the Church #4 – Hurt in the Church #4 – YouTube – Familiar Spirits
Hurt in the Church #5 – Hurt in the Church #5 – YouTube – Orphan Leadership
Hurt in the Church #6 – Hurt in the Church #6 – YouTube – Judgement
Hurt in the Church #7 – Hurt in the Church #7 – YouTube – Children Are Watching
Hurt in the Church #8 – Hurt in the Church #8 – YouTube – Holy Services
Hurt in the Church #9 – Hurt in the Church #9 – YouTube –The Truth Sets You Free
Hurt in the Church #10 – Hurt in the Church #10 – YouTube – Spiritual Abortion
Hurt in the Church #11 – Hurt in the Church #11 – YouTube – Sibling Conflict in Church Family
Hurt in the Church #12 – Hurt in the Church #12 – YouTube – Get Back in the Game
God knit your child in HIS image but with YOU in mind. He knows what you did and didn’t get in childhood and continues to parent you through your children. Parenting seems to be just fine until you have that one child who challenges you to the core. Is something wrong with the child? More times than not, no! God knit that child together in a way that aligns, restores, and heals things in you. This child is not a ‘black sheep’. This child is being used by God to change something in YOU. You can either spend the next 18 years shutting them down and disciplining them, OR you can heal what God is revealing through them.
The church is about to enter its messiest season ever. God does not make black sheep and knows what He is doing when He brings people together in the church. We have become masters at looking good, but underneath, people are bleeding. The amount of hurt in the church, youth who walk away, and spiritual abortions performed are staggering, and God is dealing with His family. Our wakeup call has already been sounded! We have endured the ‘time out’! Now that we are coming back together, we will see messes in the church like never before BY GOD’S DESIGN! He is exposing operating systems that need to be aligned with His Kingdom. He is revealing where leaders are leading from orphan places. He is highlighting areas where impurities have been allowed in. He is giving eyes to see patterns and cycles that are not bearing fruit. It is time to put away our spanking sticks in the church and discipline those GOD IS USING to create the change.
Nothing brings more chaos to a home than siblings. Nothing brings more training and character development than siblings (by God’s design). Nothing brings more chaos to a church than sibling conflict. Nothing brings more training and character development than taking those messes and allowing God to reveal, heal, restore, and deliver.
God is purifying His church and getting us ready, but we will miss it if we fail to see the areas He is cleaning up.
Every family has an operating system. Some allow sugar all hours of the day, while others limit it to special occasions. Some let children make most of the decisions, others very few. Some have strong core values or connections, while others barely talk. Some discipline with actions, others with words. I dare say that many differences are okay because no two families are alike, and God is doing something unique in every generation. Each child has their own destiny and must be parented according to what He is doing. However, the church is not plural – it is singular – HIS! It is not your pastor’s house, his stage, or his ministry. It is the Father’s house. There is only ONE operating system of the church, and the manual, if you will, is found in His Word. He outlines who should lead, how one should lead, what to do when someone sins, and how to respond to people when they make a mess and when they are unrepentant. He gives us the tools of correction, discipline, and removal. He tells us how to respond and how not to respond. If we are called into His house, then we must follow His ways, not create our own. Why? WITCHCRAFT DOES NOT BELONG IN HIS HOUSE. Leaders who create their own house rules invite the demonic in His house. Let’s say Sarah is a new believer eager to serve the Lord. She is in a church where the leaders have their own system of doing things. Sarah doesn’t have the manual, according to Mr. Pastor, so she doesn’t really know what the rules are or what she is following. The only way she knows she has done it wrong in their eyes is when she does it wrong and gets in trouble for it. Pastors who have their own rules often lead with shame-based responses. Instead of being hungry to serve, Sarah is now scared to mess up but can’t for the life of her figure out what is right or wrong. All she knows is that she does not want to get in trouble again. Let’s say Johnny sins. He is a believer and therefore has the Holy Spirit deep at work within him to convict him of his choices that will not go well for him or bear the fruit he is designed to bear. We rob God’s children of Holy Spirit conviction when we create our own operating systems in the church because the Holy Spirit does not follow man’s ways. He only convicts when someone is violating God. When we do things God’s way, we invite the Holy Spirit to help shepherd His people.
Have you been hurt in the church? Of course, you have. Why? Because we are FAMILY, and family is made up of human beings on a journey to becoming more like Him. Hurts, mistakes, and choices make messes, sometimes big ones. The point is not that you got hurt. The issue is: #1. Understanding the PURPOSE of the hurt. #2. What do you DO with the hurt? Why are we talking about this? Because nothing affects the next generation more than having parents who endured hurt in the church and are nursing wounds, confusion and pain and who have AMPUTATED themselves from the Body. We are talking about this because that is what HEALTHY families do. They talk, they get real, and they address what is attacking the family SO THAT they can deal with it, mature, and overcome it. Honor has been interpreted as silence, which is the enemy’s tool to keep pain trapped. You don’t need to take your hurts to social media, but if you want to heal, you have to be honest with yourself and God about your pain.
I created this video teaching to address this issue. As you walk through this, I realize there will be things to process, so I have taken the time to cut this hour-long teaching into bite-sized segments, which can be found on our YouTube channel. You can simply listen to it if you do not have time to watch this. Either way, honor your own heart by giving it a voice.
Click here to find the segments: Lisa Max – YouTube
I joined a friend who was teaching on prayer. In the middle of her talk, someone shouted out a comment which turned into actually praying and not just talking about it. The Spirit broke out, and it was powerful. One particular lady stood up and began prophesying. She was on fire. If you have ever witnessed the Holy Spirit move through someone releasing a prophetic word, it is a powerful move of God. But the Word of the Lord was over, and yet she kept going. If one could watch a video of her, it would be easy for the average person to see where the Spirit stopped, and she began operating out of her own flesh. It happens all the time in the church because that is where people are growing and learning how to use the gifts. I was unphased by it and just received what was from Him and what was from her. Later on, I got a phone call from my friend, who was upset that this woman had ‘taken over’ her meeting. She wanted to hear my take on what happened. I told her. She was still upset, saying how this woman ‘always does this.’ I told her to talk to her and help her grow in her gifting. She was adamant that she would not do that. So the mess remains, and offense and judgments increase. Not a healthy way to lead.
I had a dream in 2018 that altered something deep within me. I woke up one morning hearing I was to share it.
My dream – We were sitting in a large church, getting ready to worship. The pastor called his leadership team up to the front, and they all stood spaced evenly apart on the platform standing at the congregation. They stood tall, were powerful and anointed, and stood tall way above the crowd. They were deeply honored, respected, and loved. The music came on that queued everyone we would begin offering time. As everyone went to grab their money, the ushers came and put white buckets in front of each leader. Something seemed out of place about that because we do not tithe our offering to a person but to Him. Suddenly the father of the house got up and said, “If any of my children (leadership team) have hurt, offended, or caused you harm, I want you to write that on a piece of paper and place it in the bucket in front of them.” There was a corporate mindset that honoring leaders meant being silent, and everyone froze. Fear came into the room. No one dared move. I sat there conflicted. There was no way I was going to get up and put my hurt in the bucket, yet to not get up meant I would be lying to myself. I felt this empowering boldness come over me – the courage you know is not from within yourself – and I stood to my feet. Everyone in the room stared at me, and it was painful to walk alone to the front of the room and put my piece of paper in the bucket of the immature leader who did not know how to lead from the Father’s heart. As I sat back down, I had a tangible peace fall over me. Soon someone else wrestled with being the only one standing and putting their paper in the bucket, and soon another, and then another person got up. It took 45 minutes for everyone to be honest with themselves and give their heart a voice. It was painful for the leaders on the stage to see their buckets overflowing with hurts, offenses, and mistakes. They went from being strong and confident to having eyes to see the very people they wanted to serve and love ended up being the people they had caused deep hardship. We, the people, had spoken, and it closed the gap between ‘us and them.’ The elite and the crowd. The powerful and the disempowered. The old and young. The mature and immature. The most amazing thing happened next. The father of the house got back up and released his children (the leadership team) off the stage to gather WITH the people, who immediately began to embrace, hug, and weep with them. The hurts melted away in love as they connected again, just like siblings. There was a real sense of missing each other and being reunited again. This went on for hours in my dream as we were restored to FAMILY! I woke up, and this has been the position of prayer ever since. God, realign Your family back to Your original design. Remove the stage, platform, idol worship, and ‘us and them’ from Your family. Restore us to a circle – all needing each other to move on earth powerfully – together!
I want to encourage you that there is a great invitation to give your heart a voice. Honoring someone does not mean ignoring or being silent. Write down your hurt and hand it over to God. Let Him heal, restore, and align your heart to His. God is dealing with His family right now, and your heartfelt prayers are essential, powerful, and pivotal.
I feel a bit like a broken record, but when I wake up, God often tells me what to post and lays a theme or words on my heart to share. He has brought this up over and over and over. So, I share once again out of obedience to Him. I once talked about the black sheep of the family and how it is normally the child who resists the family’s operating system that God is using to bring generational things back into alignment with Him. I think the same goes for the church. God sends people – perhaps unrefined and immature – who carry something that the church needs to come into alignment with to reflect Him better. Leaders can embrace the mess and let God move in a new way, OR they can walk in power and control and reject the person in an effort to ‘protect’ the flock, missing the purpose altogether.
If you have been rejected as the BLACK SHEEP OF THE CHURCH, I encourage you to please watch this!!! Process your heart well and allow the wounds to heal BECAUSE YOU ARE NEEDED FOR THIS HOUR! You carry what the Body needs. While others may have misunderstood you, God has not. You might not be responsible for the actions of others, but you are responsible for how you respond. Do not let orphans in leadership roles rob you (or us) of what God wants to do through you. If you do not have time to watch this entire video, listen to it while driving or making dinner. I have also broken up the segments listed on our YouTube channel.
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