Do not perform a spiritual abortion on yourself because a leader is a spiritual orphan.
The truth sets you free – it’s time to give your heart a voice.
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
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.
Years ago, I found myself as a solo parent of four young children under 5. I was growing so hungry for Him and began to understand my relationship with Holy Spirit on a whole new level. I was taking Randy Clark’s mentorship on physical healing (which stretched me deeply) and would immediately take what I was learning and teach my small children. I would have them bring their dolls and dinosaurs to the family room, and we would practice praying for them. I dubbed Walmart my training ground for Jesus, and we would go on adventures to pray for the sick; learning how to play in the Kingdom as a family was scary yet exhilarating. On Saturday night, we would drive up to our church, stand outside the doors in the dark, and ask Jesus what He wanted to do the next morning. The kids heard unique clues, if you will, of who God was highlighting (someone with a broken bone, someone wearing white, someone who is young, etc.). We would go to church the next morning, looking and asking to pray for them. This continued for a while, and we were learning and growing as a family. I eventually received a phone call telling me that we were no longer allowed to pray for people and that if we wanted to continue, we needed to go before the board of elders to get permission. It wasn’t that we were overstepping the prayer team, as they didn’t have one. We were simply obeying what we heard the Lord tell us to do. I did not agree with them, but I knew enough about honor to know that I needed to heed their words. I told them I would refrain from praying UNTIL the Lord directed me what to do. I was clear in my resolve that I was not going to bring my four-year-old before an elder board to get approval to pray for people, as that would have introduced her to the fear/need of man’s approval to obey God. I was teaching them to be QUICK to obey whatever He tells us to do. There is a difference between overseeing church order and managing people’s obedience to Him. We are all commanded to pray for others, not just a select few. That week we did not go to church on Saturday night but simply showed up on Sunday. A woman with a neck brace walked in after worship had started and began walking toward the front. Ellie, four years old, sees her and b-lines it towards her to go pray. I had a moment of inner crisis – what do I do? Honor the house or honor God moving through Ellie? I went after her and lovingly said, “Sweetie, let’s wait until after worship.” My spirit was so grieved. When we walked to our car, guess who walked by? The woman with the neck brace. Again, Ellie went to her and prayed for her, and she was healed. That week I got another call letting me know that this wasn’t the church for us and that we should move on. I was devastated. A church family to a solo parent means more than many would ever be able to understand, and the pain was so deep. BUT GOD… that was the season we began attending two churches. One on Saturday, where the kids were a part of the healing rooms and Saturday service, and another on Sunday, where the children’s program had a core value for children playing in the Kingdom. We were stepping into our destiny as a family in that season. My point is that hurt in the church happens, and we need to be good at stewarding our hearts and allowing GOD to use them for good in our lives. It would have been so easy to quit church, judge orphan leaders, and walk away. Tempted as I may have been, my belief that God and community were essential was greater than my pain. I am so glad I didn’t partner with the enemy to steal, kill and destroy the calling on our lives.
I messed up big time, and it wasn’t the first. And it probably won’t be the last. Sigh! The older I get, the more I see people, especially leaders, hurting people not because of their wounds but because they fail to have the revelation of who they are. It isn’t their wounds that hurt others. Their lack of walking in their identity, their power, and the fullness of who God created them to be has hurt others. I call this orphan leadership. Years ago, I was starting to lead people on my team, which was a new experience for me. As much as I wish God would perfect us before letting us put our toes in the water, He often puts us in situations, knowing full well they will stretch us, allowing us to GROW in our capacity. I roared when I should have remained silent. I disconnected when I should have fought for them. I assumed when I should have listened. I jumped when I should have waited. I blew it, and I hurt them. On one hand, I was justified as a leader for dealing with the issue that needed to be addressed, but it would take me nearly two years before I could see my contribution and where I needed to become more like Jesus in my leadership. OUCH! The process was painful. I wanted to reach out to this person but had a million reasons why it was too late and would just be weird. I kept hearing God say, “There is no expiration on forgiveness.” I sent them a message of ownership for my part and asked for their forgiveness. I could barely get through their response with the tears in my eyes. They wondered if I had missed them as much as they had missed me. The presence of God is strong when there is unity amongst His children.
Friends, is there someone you have hurt and need to make it right with? You WILL be reconciled with your spiritual family one way or another, as there is no strife, pain, and disunity in heaven. But here’s the deal – you give God glory and honor by reconciling with someone ON EARTH that you can’t give to Him in heaven. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me if there is anyone I need to make something right with and ask forgiveness?”
God asked me a series of three questions. First, He asked what my ministry mission was, and I said, “In a nutshell, we defeat the works of the enemy in the family room.” He asked me how I do that, and I replied, “By helping parents connect to Him and how to play in His Kingdom.” Lastly, He asked me what the biggest thing that resisted my labor was. I began to weep and said, “Parents who have been hurt in the church and feel so disempowered.” Guess what? The next generation suffers the most when people get hurt in the church because parents parent from that place of being disempowered, shut down, and stuck in their journey. If leaders in the church want to impact the next generation and the future health of their church, go after the parents because they will naturally parent from those unhealed places or through their freedom, wholeness, and revelation of who they are. Children reap the fruit either way. Every adult sent out of a pastor’s office has children at home learning something about God’s house.
YOUTH GROUP LEADERS!! What would life look like for the teens in your group to be empowered to resolve their hurts, lies, and offenses? Could you imagine handing a teen a book and saying, “Check out page 18,” and they encounter God IN their pain? This is the stuff we should be talking about in our youth groups so that they are equipped to deal with their pain and those around them, too. HEART SPLINTERS – Resolving Childhood Owies in Childhood is for teens!!! Consider buying one and gifting it to your youth leader.
I invited a gal to join me for the classes I was leading and knew she was hungry to serve and minister, so I looked for ways she could take steps and grow. She has a fierce prophetic anointing mixed with a breaker anointing. When she would give people words, she was so direct it was offensive. Thank goodness the people received from her okay, but I saw this and realized she could really hurt someone if she didn’t see how it was coming across. The following week we met for dinner before class. I thanked her for joining my classes and blessed the gift God has given her. I gave her positive affirmations, as there was much to point out that she was going great at. I said, “Would you be open to some feedback?” At that point, she was like a wet noodle having someone see and believe in her. I said, “I really love the way you hear God and have the confidence to share it. You see it so clearly and aren’t afraid to call it as you see it. When you said _____, it could have come across like you were exposing them and making them feel vulnerable in front of others. I would love to help you come up with ways you could say it to make sure the person can receive from you.” She got emotional and said that her whole life, she has encountered speaking the truth and people turning on her.
Look, as a leader, either you love them enough as God’s sheep to help them grow mighty in their gifting, or you don’t. If there are parts of you operating in fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of conflict, or simply do not know how to give the gifts of a mother or father, then you need additional encounters with the Father so that you can increase your capacity in leading well. But to remain in a leadership position and refuse to help His sheep is like a parent who fails to train a child in an area they are struggling in. You can either do it in a proactive, loving way that communicates care about their growth, or you can clean up the mess later when they have hurt others because you failed to address it. This isn’t about doing it wrong. It is about helping them to do it right. I tell parents not to wait until their child sees porn to teach them about it. Help empower them so that the door is never opened. Help people in their gifts, weaknesses, and blind spots in the time of peace so that it doesn’t turn into a time of strife or conflict with others down the road.
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.