Depending on whose statistics you believe, anywhere from 15% to 40% of Christian believers today have felt betrayed or wounded by the church at some point. Many of them are spiritually incapacitated and just sitting on the sidelines. What if we found a way to bring them healing and to reinvest them in kingdom work? What might happen in this world if 15%-40% of the global body of Christ became actively engaged again in ministry?
In their new book, TRUSTING GOD’S PEOPLE…AGAIN, authors Blake Coffee and Debbie Taylor Williams offer hope and biblical direction for those who have been wounded at the hands of God’s own people. The book acknowledges a fact that is often forgotten, namely that “the church” is made up of flawed people who still sin. When that many sinners gather in one place, someone is bound to get hurt.
“When we talk of those who have stopped trusting the church, we tend to think of people who have been molested by a member of the clergy or have been disillusioned by the public moral downfall of a high-profile minister,” Coffee states. “The reality is that those people who have been raped by a priest probably represent a very small percentage of the people who feel betrayed by the church. The vast majority are those whose feelings were hurt because of an administrative conflict or who were treated unkindly or otherwise wronged by some individual(s) in the church. These folks are experiencing some very real pain --- and many of them would rather not take the risk of coming to church again.”
Blake Coffee is an attorney/mediator, Christian author and speaker, and the founder and executive director of Christian Unity Ministries. As a church mediator, his ministry of reconciliation and unity among Christians spans the globe. Through his personal reflections on biblical stories of conflict, pain, and restoration, he compassionately guides the reader through the “healing journey.” The journey is made of three steps: reconcile, recommit, re-engage.
Debbie Taylor Williams has been teaching the Bible for over 30 years and is the author of numerous Bible studies. As founder and president of Hill Country Ministries, she speaks at conferences and events around the country and is known for her passion for Christ and her ability to communicate and apply Scripture to everyday life. She contributed the sections of the book entitled “Mavis’s Journey,” a fictional case study based on countless painful stories recited to her from the many wounded people she encounters through her ministry. At the end of each chapter, readers will join Mavis on her own healing journey as she applies the principles of each biblical example to her own situation --- sharp division within her church that creates a climate of hateful gossip and personal attacks.
“Part of the story of TRUSTING GOD’S PEOPLE…AGAIN is focusing on the true enemy,” Williams stresses. “Divisiveness is the story of Mavis. That is one of Satan’s favorite strategies, and Christians are a prime target today, especially Christian leaders. I hope that the readers of this book will be encouraged to seek the Lord of the church and to understand that the church is made up of saved sinners who are in the process of being sanctified.”
TRUSTING GOD’S PEOPLE…AGAIN is an essential resource for any pastor or counselor shepherding those who are reluctant to become involved in a church again or for ministers and their spouses who feel they don’t really have a “safe” place within the church to discuss the lingering ache of abuse they have suffered from members of their congregations. Already used with remarkable success in support groups for people hurt by the church, this book brings the reader healing lessons which emanate from Scripture. It is a journey not only to a point of healing but also to a point of re-engagement with God’s people and with ministry.
For those who are spiritually incapacitated by the wounds they’ve suffered at church, the authors offer these words of encouragement: “You are not alone. You are not the first person to be injured by God’s people and you will not be the last, but God’s Word really does show you a pathway toward healing. He loves you and wants you to experience that love even in the midst of your pain.”
TRUSTING GOD’S PEOPLE…AGAIN © Copyright 2011 by Blake Coffee and Debbie Taylor Williams. Reprinted with permission by VMI Publishers. All rights reserved.