Jeff Bogue, president of CE National and lead pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron, gives tips and advice for leading your church and ministry well.

Hurting People Hurt People

The phrase we use a lot is, “hurting people hurt people”. That’s not original to me but it is something that was shared with me years ago and is certainly true. When we’re leading, you’re going to run into people who are hurting.

You’re a shepherd. The sheep are going to get hurt and wounded. When you go to them, sometimes those hurting people will lash out at you. I’ve had to learn that through the years. I’ve had to learn not to take it personally. I’m probably just the person in front of them at that moment. They’re not normally talking to me as a person, they’re talking to me as a leader that they think of as a figure-head.

When you are trying to lead someone who is hurting, don’t look at them, look through them. Look and see what they’re actually saying, why they’re actually acting the way that they are. Why they’re not themselves. The question isn’t, “Why are you being a jerk.” The question is, “What’s going on? Why are you hurting? What’s happening in your life?”

Sympathize and be compassionate. Whatever they’re feeling you have felt. We have to remember that. We all have hurt people. I like to say that what we do best is sin against each other. It comes naturally, the Bible says. We all hurt each other.

When I see a kid, a friend, or whoever is lashing out like that, I have to remember I’ve been there and done that. Move towards that person not away from them. Be present in their life. Be somebody they can lean on.

Give hope. Maybe a little bit of advice about how to move forward or adjust their thinking. Usually we use way too many words when we’re talking to somebody. Maybe a little bit of council, but mostly hope. “I love you” “I care for you” or “I’m praying for you” goes a lot further than a big life lesson at a moment like that. Maybe later on you can have that conversation but in that moment reach out and connect with them.

Often what happens is the intensity comes down. When the intensity comes down the conversation goes up. When the conversation goes up the relationship starts to solidify. Hurting people hurt people but we want to love and lead them through that

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Dr. Jeff Bogue
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Jeff Bogue
Pastor at President of CE National and Senior Pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron

Dr. Jeff. Bogue is a graduate of Grace College and Seminary. He is the president of CE National and senior pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron, a thriving multi-campus, multi-site congregation, with over 13,000 people calling Grace their home.

Grace Church is not your typical mega church. It is a church-planting network, active in their evangelical mission of “30 in 30”: planting 30 campuses in 30 years. Jeff leads an excellent team to raise up pastors, missionaries, and church leaders to staff ministry works throughout the Kingdom of God. He counts it a privilege to work alongside this staff as well as Grace College in the development of these young leaders.

Since 1993, Jeff has served at Grace Church with his wife, Heidi. They have 5 wonderful sons, one beautiful daughter, and one amazing daughter in-law.

His proudest titles are that of husband and father to 7 children. He loves working alongside his family to tangibly express God’s love in ways that make Jesus make sense.

Dr. Bogue is the author of the books: 5 Assumptions About God and Why They Are Wrong, ReSet: Why Discipleship Isn’t About Trying Harder, Living Naked: How an Ordinary Person Can Live an Extraordinary Life, and the One Step Discipleship Journals.

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