Trauma + The Church: Why It is Not Talked About

Today, I begin a series of blog posts entitled: “Trauma and The Church.” The focus on trauma and its effect on people has been picking up serious traction in the mental health field. Trauma is no longer a category on a service plan; it is a focal point that cannot be ignored with ALL people–whether they are in mental health services or not. The topic of trauma has now trickled into the spiritual/ministry/Church world. The only nice thing about the COVID-19 pandemic is it made us start doing new ministry OUTSIDE of the church walls and it unraveled how we deal with trauma.

Please note: I am not a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. I spent 10 years working in mental health in a variety of positions. I have ministry experience and education. I believe it is time for the Church to start embracing the impact of trauma on our people. My views are opinions and not necessary perfect and pretty.

I believe that trauma is not talked about in the Church for several reasons:

  • We are scared of it. Everyone has been through something traumatic–Christians are no different. The reason I believe we don’t talk about it in churches is we are scared and uneducated about it. Too often than not, we defer problems to a lack of faith, needing to pray more, or evil. While all of these things could hinder our spiritual growth, they are not the go-to answer when someone is struggling.
  • Generational Differences. Every generation has its ups and downs. Some generations have different views on traumatic events. Their philosophy is: if we don’t talk about it, then it never happened. Some generations have been more receptive to getting dialogue going about trauma. Most people in our churches can not agree on Bible translations. The same can hold true for our views on managing trauma.
  • It exposes our own trauma. When we do not think of the effects of trauma on others–especially in the Church, we are avoiding our own woundedness. If we enter into that person’s suffering with them, our wounds may open up a little bit and bleed. This is where we must aim on being rooted in Christ so we can be healers who address others’ wounds.

In our next Trauma + The Church, we will discuss spiritual practices that can help you with trauma.

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