Women’s Ministry Q/A #39: Ideas for Overcoming Hurt among Women in the Church

Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel of leaders answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them. 
Today’s question:  How do you overcome hurt feeling among women in the church, even those who say they have forgiven?

Being in ministry in the church does not mean we are immune from conflict and hurt.  More than once though, I’ve seen where women’s ministry in the church actually helped to carry on the work during church splits, and was even part of the healing of the church!  So it can be done.

But how does that happen?  Some quick ideas:
1.    Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom to address parties involved
2.    Define the issues
3.    Encourage open communication about the issues
4.    Pray together
5.    Watch for the movement of the Holy Spirit
6.    Discuss what each person involved heard God say
7.    Focus on what is agreed upon as opposed to what is not agree on
8.    Seek next steps in healing the relationships involved

Sometimes you might even want to stop at #4 and ask all women involved to pray about this for the next 2 weeks without discussing with anyone other than the Lord. Meet again to do #6-8.

One time in a worship service I watched “opposing” parties go to one another and in tears hug. The Holy Spirit can mend hurts better than any person. But as ministry leaders we can serve as catalysts and set the environment to be conducive to healing.

Check out these two blog posts on conflict resolution (Women’s Ministry Question #18, part 1 and 2 for more help.

How do you bring healing when there has been hurt among your women?

Women Reaching Women
Transformed Lives (chapter on Conflict Resolution)
Loving Well, Beth Moore
CrazyMakers, by Paul Meier and Robert Wise
Caring Enough to Confront, David Augsburger
Communication and Conflict Management in Churches and Christian Organizations,  Kenneth Gangel and Samuel Canine
Fool Proofing Your Life, Jan Silvious
High Maintenance Relationships, Les Parrott
Boundaries, Townsend/Cloud
Don’t Let the Jerks Get You Down, Paul Meier