About the Author

Karina Allen is devoted to helping women live out their unique calling and building authentic community through the practical application of Scripture in an approachable, winsome manner.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Well said, Karina. Having experienced similar feelings at a church, I will say there was a silver lining because I found the most wonderful accepting, caring church community when I left. It wasn’t easy. But I am so grateful for that church family.

  2. Thank you for writing and sharing. Your words helped me process the hurt my family and I have experienced. Yes we gave, we did, but when we needed care, it was no where to be found. That hurt our family deeply. We are now attending another church who welcomed us with open arms. God was leading us to this spirit filled community of kind and compassionate followers of Jesus. God is so good.

  3. Very well said, Karina. We spent years working and serving in a church and ministering to others. No one showed up for us when heartache came and grief was overwhelming. We quit attending for almost a year and no one noticed. We have since found a church where we can love on and care others and they do the same for us. It was a long journey and God was with us through it all.

  4. I so relate to this. We served faithfully in a church only to be ignored when our family experienced a traumatic crisis. It’s been 5 years and I’m still healing but I’ve seen God move in all the pain and brokenness. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for sharing! Praise God for His healing. I pray that He gives you more healing and wholeness an freedom. He is a mendor of the broken.

  5. I have so many wounds from a ministry that I worked for and three different churches that I attended that caused much pain to my family and others. The final one I was seeking protection from an abusive marriage and was denied it. That one left wounds that are still bleeding. I’m thankful to God to share that He put me into a wonderful new church and I’m still finding my way and stepping lightly and I’ve forgiven all that was done to me and continue to pray for those churches and all involved. Thank you for praying for further healing and finding a new community/church family.

  6. OH yes! My Mama and I both have. The beginning of this was like you were writing it about us and our experience.

  7. Karina, I am currently looking for a church to attend that is right for my family and I. Please say a prayer for us. Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Stephanie, thank you for sharing!

      Father, You place us where you please. I ask You to place Stephanie and her family in the right community that will be a family to them. May it be a place of Your love, truth, grace, forgiveness and hope. May they trust Your timing and leadership.
      In Jesus’ Name.

  8. Karina, I went through a period of great hurt because of a lack of support from my church when my mother died, 2 years ago today. During the pandemic, of course, we had not been able to meet in person, but by the time my mother passed away, the pandemic was also easing. My pastor and the members of my Bible study group were wonderful, but the rest of the congregation seemed to ignore me at that time. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people from my church who attended the visitation, and I didn’t receive so much as a card or an email from any of the women who had professed to care so much for my mother. I was deeply hurt by this, and both me and a dear friend from Bible study were struggling with going back to the church after the pandemic, anyway. The church was having a celebration and another member of Bible study mentioned that the pastor was hoping for many people to come back to attend. I sent him an email and finally told him exactly what was on my heart and the reason that I had not come back. He was very kind and understanding and completely accepted my reason.

    Finally, a few months later, my friend and I did return to church. Then another death occurred within the congregation, the husband of a long time member. That visitation and funeral were actually done at the church, and perhaps that made a difference, but I was hurt all over again at the amount of love and concern shown to the widow. None of that was given to me. It was obvious to our pastor, because shortly after he approached me at church and apologized for the hurt that I must have felt when the second funeral occurred. Unbeknownst to me, he also brought it up to the congregation at another point, not using my name but pointing out that the congregation had failed another member any time of grief and that as a congregation of God, that should not happen.

    I have stayed with the church, and feel more comfortable now. But I certainly understand the hurt that can pierce your heart when those you expect to be supportive or not there.

    • Thank you for sharing Maggie! I’m so sorry about your mother and the whole situation. Praise God His healing and how He moved in the heart of your Pastor. God is so faithful to change hearts and accomplish a beautiful work.

  9. My family went through church hurt individually. My daughter and I are thinking of moving but not sure where. We find it hard to keep attending and serving but are trying. People get in touch only when they want more help and hands and become cold when answer is “No”. The more there is emphasis on togetherness in church, the more we feel alone.

    • I’m so sorry for all of y’all’s pain. I’m praying for God’s peace, leading and provision of a genuine and authentic community. I pray that His presence is extremely tangible to y’all. Trust His leading.

  10. Thank you. I needed this today. Haven’t been able to find a church near where we live that won’t hurt us. But I keep hoping and praying. Thank you for the encouragement that I’m not getting from anywhere else.

    • Awe, Ariel. Thank you for sharing! I’m so sorry. Keep hoping and praying. He has the sweetest community waiting for you. Trust His timing and leading. He won’t fail you.

  11. Thank you for this post. Our family has experienced deep church hurt on two specific occasions-with my mother years ago and more recently with my brother and his wife and their children. What you wrote is right-church hurt is very different from the hurt caused by a casual acquaintance. And when I watched those I love be hurt so unjustly and undeservedly by their church “family” it was hard not to be angry and wonder why God didn’t seem to hear or answer our prayers. But even in the intense emotional pain they have gone through, I have watched my brother and his wife turn toward God for refuge rather than anger. They have modeled what you wrote about-not seeking revenge and not slandering others. They are an example of how we as people of God should react when others deeply hurt us-and participating in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. We still don’t understand why God allowed the church hurt to happen, but we continue to trust his goodness, and I continue to pray for total healing for their hearts.

  12. Well spoken. God see all. You what you know why our young people don’t want to go Church as if they are not places of interest or love to them. We have to make the Church a place even the unsaved can feel loved. Especially people who don’t have much money and don’t have the money to dress smart. If they see a Church with people in fancy dress clothes and men in suits and kids nicely dressed. They have only jeans and top on. Would they feel loved or wanted in that Church. They probably walk past it say I can’t go in there. They are all dressed nicely in their fancy clothes. I look odd I have only got my Jean and top on as that is all I can afford. They not go in at all. Ladies wearing a hat or bonnet. When Jesus looks at our hearts not what we wear or if as lady hat or bonnet so see if there head it covered. They should be out to welcome all no matter what they wear. Not worrying if they got a hat or bonnet on or not or the way they are dressed. Love them all for who they are. Make them feel loved. Even if everyone one else in their fancy clothes. Church is not just the big fancy building with stain glass windows. It is us the saved being the hands and feet of Jesus. Loving people and kids of all walks of life. No matter what they wear. No matter what skin colour they are. Showing them the Love of Jesus living as he lived when he walked on earth. Teaching the true word of God. Making Church a fun place to be for all age from kids to the elderly. So all will want to come here the word of and it be fun know they are loved by all. If need help and prayer can get it and not be afraid to ask for it. Plus teaching the word of God probably and teaching on subjects like tithing and learning how to read the word of God and get into it. Plus prayer and apply it to your life. I say Amen to that. If these things are not done in the Churches. I can see why people leave and young people get board and don’t want to come back. Which is very sad. God see all. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

  13. I wanted to say we went through very recently a similar experience. It really hurt, caused sadness and even some anger. Then I finally was able to give it to the Lord. We are all imperfect. We didn’t cause slander about the church, and only had a handful of trusted people we told to help pray for everything and everyone. It’s not something I will forget, and sometimes I wonder what could have been different, but has a new chapter for us, in some other place. We are all one body in Christ, and we all need to forgive and love. Thank you for this article. It’s a blessing to my family.

    • Thank you for sharing Cinda! I’m so sorry for all of the pain y’all have gone through. Praise God for the healing He’s brought so far. Praying for more healing, freedom and forgiveness.

  14. Thank you for your testimony. I’ve always struggled with finding community in church, but I know it’s God’s will, so I’ll stay brave and keep trying. Thanks for your prayers.

  15. I relate to your post, having experienced rejection in ministry. While we continue attending and serving out of obedience, I know there are tender scars we don’t expose. We just don’t get that close anymore. Now I am concerned this will damage our witness to teens and young adults who are always watching to see if the love of Christ is for real. Please pray we would truly heal and demonstrate real fellowship to our kids.

    • May the Lord be close to y’all and bless y’all as y’all continue to honor the Lord in y’all’s hurt and healing. May the love of Christ be real in y’all and through y’all.

  16. Thanks for raising his important issue, Karina. I have a few questions about this. For example, what do you do when you come to realise that the fundamental structure of the current day church is flawed, with no independent accountability for its leaders. This opens the door to leaders who use the Bible to control (often subtly). Why are we so ready to refer to God’s Church as formal organisations with structures and systems that do more to put off non-Christian’s than attract them? I also wonder what you mean by ‘community’. Why can’t there be a less formal way of interacting with other Christians in ‘community’, even if that is just a handful. There seems to be a prestige these days associated with huge ‘churches’, with the measure of success of its leader linked to numbers in the congregation. I feel so sad when I see the way Christians are locked into an organisation rather than focusing on God.

  17. Not long ago, I had breast cancer. I had two operations. I feel blessed and fortunate that the doctor was able to get it all. I had 5 radiation treatments.
    I have a friend, Natalie who is much younger than me, she was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her kidney and brain. Initially, she had no outward symptoms, but then she noticed back pain that sent her to the doctor.
    I am hoping you could add Natalie to your prayer list. Thank you Karina, God Bless You.