About the Author

Michelle Ami Reyes, PhD, is an author and activist. Her first book, Becoming All Things, is the recipient of the 2022 ECPA award. Michelle writes at the intersection of multiculturalism, faith, and justice. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for your post it is very thought provoking. Is God still there in church , I find it cold there.
    Have we make God a religion and not our heavenly Father?

  2. Thank you so much for this message. The church needs us and we need the church! As the body of Christ we are called to support and encourage one another, not just when everything is good, but even more in the messy and hard times. There are many wonderful, Bible believing churches, find one and commit yourself to supporting it. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 18:20. Let us each pray daily for the church, that we would follow Jesus and love one another. Satan loves to cause division, but may we each strive to keep our eyes on Jesus and build up our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  3. Beautifully written, filled with vulnerable bravery. The Church, God’s heart. Filled with so many broken sinners like me. So true. When we are vulnerable and honest and share a heart like Jesus, there is healing. So many words and actions done in the name of Christianity but are not of the heart of Jesus. May we all humble ourselves, to admit our faults, strive to grow and change and offer grace, love and mercy to ALL people as Christ offers over and over and over again to all. Thank you for this… beautiful. May God bless you and bless His Church as we seek His face and guidance being His hands and feet.

  4. There is no wound so painful as one inflicted by a brother or sister, and the psalmist’s howls affirm that truth.
    I’m thankful, though, for grace to forgive and grace to go on loving and serving the Body, knowing that my own brokenness may also be a cause for pain sometimes in the lives of others.

  5. Michelle,

    Society today doesn’t make it easy to be in church & love the body. There is so much anti Christian cynicism. The recent lock downs didn’t help any. People were told not to attend church & they got used to it so they don’t go back now. It is time now that Christians take a stand, attend church, get involved & show this world more of God’s love. By doing that we are opening ourselves to God & acting like the first church-meeting often & sharing everything. Thus we are teaching & inviting our fellow brothers & sisters a better way to live life.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Good morning, Beth! This article is about people who have been hurt by people inside their churches, yet your comment seems to be talking about hurts inflicted by (outside-the-church) society. Could you please provide some examples of what you see as “anti-Christian cynicism”? Thank you! Laurie

  6. We left a church (for the first time not for “moving out of state” reasons) this year due to a continued lack of repentance by church leadership. It was weird and unpleasant and I hated it, but it feels good in many ways to not be supporting those various kinds of rot any more. (and the process of leaving exposed some bullying as well, which shifted me over from “is this really the right thing to do?” to “nope, not folding to that”) (and our new church preaches more Jesus and less self-help-manual, which is glorious)

    And it seems like the church we left may be working on turning around! Which is great! I wish it had not taken a church member exodus (a stack of people, we have since found out, each pointing out again what they could not in good conscience continue to support things and resigning membership) for them to listen and take things seriously. And I keep praying for them as well as for our new church (and all our geographically-scattered home churches).

    I guess: yes, as a default, it’s good to not leave your church unless there’s actual abuse (in which case head for the hills!). But if you do leave over matters of leadership sin and the Gospel of Christ, and if it is safe for you to do so, then *tell* them (preferably in writing so it’s harder to fudge it or misconstrue it) why you are leaving rather than just silently heading out the door, so they have a further opportunity to see the sin, acknowledge its magnitude, and repent and return to Christ. We want the whole church – every Christian and every local body, *all* the members of Christ’s body – to be healthy and in Christ, and usually that is best accomplished by staying and praying and working and encouraging. Sometimes, maybe, though, the way to get there is to leave and pray? Maybe.

  7. Church is very personal to all of us (people say “my” church) and so we are vulnerable to being hurt. We set high expectations on the church (which as children of God we should be worthy of those expectations). I have had ups and downs with the church…but chose to extend grace. I think the “organized” church is the way to share the love of Christ. Yes, it has it’s faults . . but my Christian family has helped me through some of the hardest days of my life. I learned a long time ago the church is made up of imperfect people and no one should be put on a pedestal. Ministers, Deacons, Elders are all people. They will fail us but God never will.

  8. I enjoyed this, thanks. It has a lot of depth. We are all a collective mess with Christ at the cornerstone.

  9. Thank you Dr Michelle.

    Let’s embrace Him always, clinging in Him despite of whatever circumstances..
    In His place, healings grace we received always..

  10. Beautiful devotion and exhortation to keep connected to our church, even when things get hard. Remembering all that Christ has done for the church should prompt us to love, forgive and extend grace all the more.