Hearing the word ‘bully’ is not unusual these days… unfortunately. But perhaps, hearing the words ‘church bully’ sounds like an oxymoron.
Au contraire my friend.
I read this and nodded my head through the whole thing. Now, if you are a member on my congregation, you may be thinking “Why would Lauren post this unless she thinks that our church is full of bullies!? Does she think I’m a bully? I’m not a bully! Darn you Lauren!”
I certainly think a majority of the church (both global and local) is full of wonderful people who care about and for each other. But, I do think we all have the tendency to be a bit bully-ish at church every once in a while, myself included. Have I gossiped in my life at church? Absolutely. Was it right? Absolutely not.
On the other side of the bully situation, I would say most of us could also list a time (or two) at church when we have felt bullied. In the article, I particularly found his fourth point interesting: “People will worry that challenging bullies is unkind or unchristian.” If many of us have felt bullied, many of us don’t do anything about it, which lets bullying continue unchecked. We worry that if we complain or ‘push back’, that we aren’t being Christian.
With this in mind, I want to make this clear: if you have been bullied at church and want to talk about it, I’m here. If you want to change bullying you experience in any part of your life, especially at church, I’m here. Please come and talk, and help me change the culture of bullying.
If we want bullying to disappear, it needs to start at church.