Growing up in a church focused family can have its benefits. The sense of community, the shared values, and the collective worship experience can be deeply fulfilling. However, for some, this environment can also be a source of pain and disillusionment, often referred to as “church hurt.” Many people find themselves leaving the church or even losing faith in God due to these negative experiences. It’s not easy, but it’s possible to navigate their path to healing and renewed faith.

What Is Church Hurt?


Church hurt is real, but it doesn’t have to stay. Your relationship with God cannot be in anyway at the same level of dedication, admiration or even viewed at the same level with your church. And the reason why we stay so long with our church hurt is because we’ve blurred the lines between idolization and love or even dedication. You can be in love with your church, but they’re not God. You can be in love with your pastor, but they’re not God. You can even be in love with your community, but they’re not God. Only God can be God and he wants to shift your heart posture to a place where you release the religion and idolization and simply embrace a relationship with him. Let’s work together to get you to place where you seek relationship and not religion and can surrender and trust him and not people and places. I can’t wait to meet you. #lifecoach #relationshipcoach #marriagecoach #relationshipadvice #godisgood #relationshipyouunderstand #latina #latinapodcasters #casatiktok

♬ original sound – Relationship Coach & Speaker

Church hurt is a term used to describe the emotional and psychological pain that can result from negative experiences within a church setting. This hurt can stem from judgmental attitudes, hypocritical behavior, or even abusive situations. TikToker Karina Daves shared her personal journey through church hurt online and offered insights on how to heal.

“Let’s talk about church hurt because God knows I’ve been there. I wanna share with you how I healed from my church and grew my relationship with God,” Daves said in the video.

She explains that while church is intended to be a place of fellowship, love, and community, it can sometimes become a source of pain when people start idolizing the institution and its leaders instead of focusing on God.

The Danger of Idolization

Daves highlights the danger of conflating a relationship with the church and its leaders with a relationship with God.

“When we idolize our church, the hurt is so much deeper,” she explained. “If you feel judged, that’s not God. If you feel chastised, that’s not God. If you feel deeply embarrassed and hurt, that’s not God.”

Daves say when pastors or church members overstep and hurt others, they act out of the flesh, not the spirit. Her advice is clear: release the idolization of these people and places to grow a genuine relationship with God.

Acknowledging the Pain

Xenia James of The Way podcast echoes Daves’ sentiments and adds that the first step to healing is acknowledging the pain.

“You have to recognize that you’ve been hurt first in order to move forward,” James stated.

She warns against rushing past the pain or pretending it didn’t happen. Instead, she encourages taking the time to acknowledge and process the hurt.

James also cautions against generalizing all Christians or all churches based on a single negative experience.

“Don’t paint Christians with the same brush. Just because you had a bad experience in one church doesn’t mean every church or every Christian is going to treat you the same way,” she advised.

Moving Past Church Hurt

Both Daves and James stress the importance of not letting past hurts trap you in a cycle of pain. Moving forward involves seeking a new, healthier community and allowing yourself the freedom to grow in faith. This might mean finding a new church that aligns more closely with your values or exploring your spirituality independently.

Healing from church hurt is a deeply personal journey. It requires introspection, forgiveness, and a commitment to separating the actions of imperfect people from the perfect love of God.

As Daves reminds everyone, “Nobody else can be Him but God.”

Church hurt is a real and painful experience that many people face. However, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your faith journey. It won’t be easy but you too, can find healing and renewal. Remember, your faith is a personal journey, and it’s okay to take the time you need to heal and find your way back to a loving and supportive spiritual community.