Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Darren Hercyk


Church Hurts, Wounds in Church, Hurt people in Church


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Church hurt is an emotional feeling that disconnects a person from reality, and remains a neglected topic in many Pentecostal churches. In the church setting, hurt members who are broken inside often portray an attitude of wholeness on the outside, even if the physical, spiritual, and physiological atmosphere of hurt prevents them from fully connecting or interacting with others. That hurt eventually hinders their growth, the growth of others, and the potential of the whole church. In this thesis, the researcher investigates the causes of church hurt experienced by members of COP Norfolk, a US subsidiary of the global Christian organization, The Church of Pentecost (COP). The researcher engaged fifteen participants in interviews and seminars to understand better the nuances of the emotional pain experienced by these individuals. Among the findings is the expectation that Christians should ignore their feelings when hurt and how the fear of being judged prevents congregants from freely expressing their feelings of hurt. The researcher discovered that the culture of the most dominant Ghanaian population could also be one of the sources of hurt. As a result of this research, the root causes of hurt discovered will help incite honest conversations among the leadership and members of COP Norfolk that will encourage healing and forgiveness among hurt congregants. The research results will further bring the leadership of COP Norfolk to a place of awareness, providing an atmosphere that breeds authentic growth among members at all levels.