How do you keep your faith when you have been hurt by a church?
How do you regain trust? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when you are hurt or discouraged?
I’ve heard countless stories of people encountering Jesus, getting excited about their faith, plugging into a vibrant of church, and serving with their whole heart, only to have things end very, very badly.
It’s common and it’s devastating.
Very few things will shipwreck your faith like a bad experience with a church. It always stings to be hurt by a friend, but being hurt by a church just feels worse because we know it shouldn’t be like that.
How do we keep disappointment with the church from shipwrecking our faith?
Or, if we’ve already been discouraged, how do we come back? How do we regain trust with the church?
Well, believe it or not, frustration with religious leaders is not a new thing. In Jesus’s day, the people widely considered the priesthood to be broken beyond repair. The people entrusted with shepherding Israel were using their position for riches and political favor with Rome, and the poor were losing out on worship.
But in John 10, Jesus casts the vision for a better way. “I am the Good Shepherd,” he says. “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11 ESV). According to Jesus, spiritual leadership isn’t about prestige; it’s about service. And Jesus demonstrated that service on the cross.