Healing Your Church Hurt

Some books are well-written. Some are well-timed. Some are well-grounded, in good theology, life experience, or research. Some are well-planned and well-paced. But Stephen Mansfield's Healing Your Church Hurt is all of the above.

I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone. Stephen Mansfield is the New York Times bestselling author of The Faith of George W. Bush and Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill, among others, so the fact that the book is well-written is fairly predictable.

He was a pastor for twenty years, so the sound and effective biblical teaching he offers is unsurprising.

He also suffered a series of devastating betrayals from elders and others in the church he served that brought his ministry to a hurtful and unfair conclusion. So the fact that he knows whereof he speaks is no great shock, either.

And he has walked the difficult but redeeming path that leads to healing and wholeness himself, so the utter helpfulness of the book and the vulnerability and transparency with which he writes is understandable, too. And the subsequent success and joy he has found as an author, speaker, and consultant make the hope and encouragement he offers the reader understandable.

Especially impactful for me were his recurring references to the story of Paul and Barnabas--and John Mark--that unfold through various parts of the New Testament, and his solid, solid, solid discussion of the deep and frequent hurt that can come from a poor or incomplete theology, particularly as it regards us fallen human beings.

Healing Your Church Hurt (subtitled What to do when you still love God but have been wounded by his people) is a wonderful people. I say that sincerely, and without qualification. If you have been hurt by a church--or by a series of churches--I couldn't more highly recommend a book than I do this one. It can help you, if you read it, if you let it.

You can read the first chapter here. AND you can win a free copy of the book by commenting on this post by 5 p.m. Monday, March 5. You don't have to be profound. You don't even have to say anything much at all. Just leave a comment. The winner will be chosen at random from all commenters.


(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”)


  1. Sounds like a book that should be read by many people. I know a few people that could write books on this topic :)

  2. Marla commented: Hoss, I literally broke in to tears reading this post. The timing is amazing...it's been almost a year and I still hurt so deeply and wonder "how can I ever get past this?" I am putting this on my "must read" list...moving straight up to the top. I miss you and your teachings so very much. I'm so blessed that you just reached me - via the internet, no doubt! lol Thank you!!

  3. The idea of 'church hurts' was a unknown concept to me a few years ago-but not any more. I am still amazed by the multitudes who have suffered a 'church hurt'. I still believe that churches should help heal hurt-not inflict them.

  4. Thus far I've only read the Foreword and I definitely will be reading the 1st chapter very soon. Sounds like a great book. It would be great if those that help spread ecclesia exitus would read the book...but then again, perhaps they would think it is speaking about "the other guy."

  5. In reading the 1st part of the book, so many things came to mind of how those that act different or act different, or see things in a different light are cast aside to protect the collective. The compassion of Jesus is left by the wayside and the love and support and standing with one another in love is lost for whatever fits ones ideals.
    Kind of like the younger brother being thrown back out to the pigs by the older brother, so its not messy. The first chapter spoke volumes to me, bet the rest would put any arguments to rest or maybe bring some up. Seems like a good read to me.

  6. "The body of Christ is bruised..."

    What sad, yet true words.

    With intropection it is easy to say I have been bruised and caused bruising.

    Thank you for letting me know of an area in which I need to repent.

  7. I sooo totally understand being hurt by your church. We were members for over 25 years when hubby got sick and we could no longer attend services. No one called, sent cards, or showed any kind of interest in us. No offers of help, nothing. Although we do still after two years get all the mailings asking for money.

  8. Bob I really need to read this book. Christin joy

  9. Traci and i are healing from our church hurt also. God has been working in our lives in so many ways lately. The healing started with your Godly words and our new church. Bless you and your family.

  10. The drawing has been held, and Soccerkidsmom, you're the winner! Congratulations. Contact me with your name and address for your free copy.