Restoring Hope in the Midst of Disillusionment : Aimee Byrd

Restoring Hope in the Midst of Disillusionment - Aimee Byrd - 112 - FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye

How can we help restore hope to those who have become disillusioned with the church? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Aimee Byrd. Aimee is an author, speaker, blogger, and podcaster. She’s written a number of books, including her latest, entitled The Hope in Our Scars. Together, Aimee and Jason explore the true biblical beauty of Christ’s Church and contrast that with the ways that many are becoming disillusioned with the church today. Amy shares from her own experiences of being wounded by the church and how she has fought to love the church and embrace the heart of Christ.

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Additional Resource Links – Explore Aimee’s website to learn more about her ministry, her book, and supplementary materials to enrich your spiritual journey.

The Hope in Our Scars: Finding the Bride of Christ in the Underground of Disillusionment – This book is written to those who have been wounded by the church. To those who have suffered abuse at the hands of church leaders and are left with deep scars. To those who are disillusioned or deconstructing their faith, The Hope in Our Scars offers a way forward with a God who walks with us in our affliction and wants to make it into something beautiful. Having tread her own path of disillusionment, Aimee Byrd invites us to see Christ among the chaos so apparent in his church.

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Key Insights and Concepts

  • The Church, at its core, is not merely a place of worship but the bride of Christ, uniquely loved and prepared for an eternal covenant with Him, as poetically depicted in the Song of Songs.
  • Authentic Christianity demands more than doctrinal precision; it requires a life marked by love for God and neighbor, echoing Christ’s commandment as a transformative force in the world.
  • The stark contrast between the beauty of the Church as Christ’s bride and the darkness of abuse and misconduct within its walls calls for a courageous response, not silence.
  • The rise of Christian nationalism and the increasing disaffiliation of youth from the church signal a profound disconnect between the Church’s mission and its manifestation, urging a return to genuine faith and love that mirrors Christ.
  • Facing abuse within the church not only challenges one’s faith but also compels a reevaluation of what it means to belong to a community of believers.
  • The process of dealing with church abuse reveals a culture of enablement that must be dismantled, emphasizing the need for systemic change rather than superficial corrections.
  • The Song of Songs offers a hermeneutical key to understanding Scripture, inviting believers to engage with the text through allegory, poetry, and metaphor that stirs the soul.
  • Theological debates often lack the compassion and empathy required of true shepherding, highlighting a dissonance between doctrinal knowledge and the practice of love.
  • The Church needs to fight for transparency and accountability in church leadership.
  • Hope in Christianity is not a mere sentiment but a robust, gritty reality that involves confronting and naming wounds as part of the healing and transformation process.
  • The concept of dying to oneself, as illustrated by Jesus in John 12:24, serves as a profound metaphor for spiritual renewal and community building in the Christian life.
  • True belonging in the church emerges not from maintaining appearances but from genuine vulnerability and shared experiences of grace and redemption.
  • Conversations about church disillusionment should be welcomed, not feared, as they can lead to deeper understanding and communal growth.
  • The Song of Songs not only enriches our spiritual vocabulary but also calls the Church to recover the beauty and intimacy of God’s love.
  • Pastoral leadership carries a grave responsibility to open doors to the Kingdom of God, rather than close them, by embodying the welcoming love of Christ.

Questions for Reflection

  • How do I perceive the church—as merely a place of worship, or as the bride of Christ deeply loved and prepared for an eternal covenant? What does this mean for my ministry?
  • In what ways am I striving to embody Christ’s command to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself? How is this reflected in my daily interactions?
  • Have I witnessed actions or attitudes within my church community or leadership that contradict the beauty and purity Christ desires for His bride? How can I address these issues effectively?
  • How can I foster a church culture where abuse is not only addressed but prevented? What systems of accountability can I advocate for?
  • Reflecting on the Song of Songs as a hermeneutical key, how can I take more time to dive into the teachings of this book to discover more about the Church and Christ’s relationship?
  • Do theological precision and doctrinal debates ever overshadow the call to love and shepherd compassionately in my ministry? How can I maintain a balance?
  • How do I respond to public criticism or humiliation, either directed at myself or others within the church? What lessons have I learned from these experiences?
  • In what ways can I encourage a culture of transparency and honesty within my leadership team and congregation?
  • How would I describe the hope that the Church should be championing? WHat does this hope look like? How is our local church pointing people to this hope?
  • How do I understand and practice the concept of hope as a gritty reality in the face of church challenges? What does ‘naming our wounds’ look like in my context?
  • How can the metaphor of dying to oneself, like a grain of wheat, inform and transform my approach to leadership and community life? How have I experienced this dying to self?
  • What does true belonging look like within my church community? How can I foster an environment where every member feels they truly belong?
  • How open am I to discussions about disillusionment within the church? How can I better facilitate these conversations to promote healing and growth?
  • As a leader, how can I ensure that I am opening, not closing, the doors to the Kingdom of God through my actions and teachings? What are some examples of how I am opening the doors to the Kingdom of God?

Full-Text Transcript

How can we help restore hope to those who have become disillusioned with the church?

Jason Daye
In this episode, I’m joined by Aimee Byrd. Aimee is an author, speaker, blogger, and podcaster. She’s written a number of books, including her latest, entitled The Hope in Our Scars. Together, Aimee and I explore the true biblical beauty of Christ’s Church and contrast that with the ways that many are becoming disillusioned with the church today. Amy shares from her own experiences of being wounded by the church and how she has fought to love the church and embrace the heart of Christ. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Jason Daye 
Hello, friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye. Each and every week, I have the honor and privilege to sit down with a trusted ministry leader, all in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy rhythm for both your life and ministry. We’re proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. Not only do we dive into a conversation, but our team also creates an entire downloadable toolkit that you can use with the ministry leaders at your local church to dig more deeply into the topic that we discuss. You can find that at and we encourage you to check that out. Lots of resources in there, including a Ministry Leaders Growth Guide, so please be sure to check that out. Now, at Pastor Serve, we love walking alongside pastors and ministry leaders, and our trusty coaches are available for you. If you’d like to learn more about receiving a complimentary coaching session, you can find that information at If you’re following us and joining us today on YouTube, please give us a thumbs up and take a moment to drop your name and the name of your church in the comments below. We love to get to know our audience better and our team will be praying for you and for your ministry. Whether you’re joining us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, please take a moment to subscribe or follow so you do not miss out on any of these great conversations. We have a great conversation for you today. At this time, I’d like to welcome Aimee Byrd to the show. Aimee, welcome.

Aimee Byrd 
Hi, thanks for having me. Jason.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, super excited about our conversation and the topic we’re going to dive into. We’re going to be talking a lot about the church today and some of the challenges that the church is facing. Oftentimes, when you say that, Aimee, a lot of people think about external challenges that the church is facing. But we’re going to be talking, Aimee, specifically about some of the internal challenges that we’re facing. Some that we, some leaders, within the church are creating internally. So we’re going to be diving into all of that. But before we get there, Aimee, I would love for you to share with us. Let’s talk about a biblical understanding of the church and the beauty of the church, right? Paint for us a picture, whenever we dig into scripture, and we hear of the Bride of Christ, what is that? What does that look like, in its beautiful form, right?

Aimee Byrd 
Because we often think of church as this place we go to on Sunday, where we worship and grow in the faith even. But more theologically speaking and more of the essence of the churches is that the church is the bride of Christ, and the church is the gift of the Father to the Son by the Spirit. The church is in an exclusive, unitive love covenant with Christ. So yeah, that’s what I write about a lot in The Hope in Our Scars, but I point us to the Song of Songs, where we just see the beauty of that really unfolding, Christ’s unitive exclusive love for his bride, and that he’s preparing us now for love.

Jason Daye 
Right. So when the church is operating today, Aimee, in a way that is truly honoring God. How is the church kind of showing up in the world? What should we be expecting from Christ’s bride?

Aimee Byrd 
I think that, really, it’s going to show itself in many, many ways. Ways that I can’t even imagine. However, I think Christ boils it down quite simply. That we are to love God with all our minds, all our hearts, and all our souls and love one another as ourselves. If we just spent our time doing that, I think that would show forth in so many ways to the world because we can say all these doctrines that we have and what we believe, and that’s very important, but it’s what we show and love that is truly astounding. It truly speaks into the darkness that we have in our culture around us in the secular world and in the nations. But also in our own churches, in our own hearts, and in our own homes.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, I love that. Jesus Himself is someone who said, Hey, they’ll know you because of your love, right? Not because of your doctrine, not because of the rules that you’re enforcing, but your love. So I think that’s so key. Now, Aimee, all of us who are in ministry, who are church leaders, we probably all have spent a little bit of time looking at church history, whether in Bible college, our own study, in seminary, wherever that might be. As we look back across the two millennia of the church, we recognize that there have been periods of time in specific different areas around the world where there’s been an incredible misuse or abuse of power within the church, really, right? We sit here today, we look back, and we look at the Inquisition, we look at the Crusades, and we’re able to kind of assess, process, and think through that and say, oh, man, there were leaders in the church who completely got it wrong and who were incredibly abusive. And here we sit today, right? Oftentimes, we know this, it’s a lot easier to look back at someone else’s issues, their missteps, and point those out. But sometimes, it’s a little more challenging to be introspective and reflective. And yet, we’re called to be just that. So, Aimee, if we’re looking at the church today, and naturally, around the world, there are some beautiful expressions of the Bride of Christ and incredible hope, healing, and amazing things happening. But in the Western world and a lot of things that we’ve been experiencing here in the US specifically, we have seen more and more of the scandal, the abuse of power, and all of those types of things. So, Aimee, talk to us a little bit about what are we seeing right now in the church, specifically here in the US, in the Western world. What are some of the ways that the church is not matching up with the biblical understanding and the beauty of the Bride of Christ?

Aimee Byrd 
Yeah, I mean, we’re seeing so many cases of abuse, whether it’s spiritual abuse or sexual abuse with leaders in the church. I mean, we’ve got one of our biggest denominations being federally investigated right now for sex abuse cover-up with hundreds and hundreds of leaders in the church. We’ve got the rise of Christian nationalism and this kind of joining faith with politics. We see this major division and even violence in that as well. We see this rise of people calling them “the nuns” who don’t have any faith affiliation anymore. We’re seeing our youth age out of the church and be like, You know what? No, thank you. They just went through 18 years in the church and have not seen beauty. They haven’t seen a love that has moved them and transformed them. So what’s going on here? I think a lot of the time, we want to silence people who are talking about what’s wrong in the church because we’re afraid of our witness. And I think really our work isn’t in needing to prove what’s wrong with the church, okay? It’s pretty obvious. I think our work even within the church and without, is to prove who the church really is. Loved by God, the beauty of the church, where we’re headed, and what we’re being prepared for. I think that’s where our challenge is.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, I completely agree. You bring up a point there, and you’ve kind of addressed this in The Hope in Our Scars as well to some degree, and that is that this kind of introspection, this ability for us to look inward and look at ourselves and say, hey, there are some abuses, there are some things that are wrong there, there are these issues, these challenges, and we must be courageous enough and brave enough to name the woundedness and name those things. As the title of your book, your latest book, The Hope in Our Scars is to see those scars as we’re coming through this healing and understand that there is hope in it. This isn’t, Aimee, just we’re bashing the church because we have nothing better to do, right? This is because we love the church, right? We have a heart for the church. In fact, one of the chapters in your book, and I absolutely love this, is all around this idea of fighting for the church. So, Aimee, talk to us a little bit about what it looks like, what do you mean even whenever you say something like “fighting for the church”?

Aimee Byrd 
Yeah, and what I mean is, I’m fighting to love Christ’s Church, right? Now, I’ve been through some pretty serious public spiritual abuse in my church and denomination as a result of, I mean, I would say that they were unhappy with what I was writing about women and discipleship. But instead, it went into attacks on my character and even as far as calling me the great whore of Babylon and Jezebel and trying to sabotage my Amazon page or call ahead of my speaking engagements and warn leaders that I’m dangerous and guard their families from me. I read these kinds of things and they’re by leaders in the church. All this joking and making memes of me as a transgender woman or something, and reducing my humanity and dignity in terrible, terrible, terrible ways. My husband said you don’t have to be a Christian to know that this is just vile behavior. It was very deeply misogynistic. So, here I am, being harassed by leaders, not by just regular jerks on the internet, but by pastors and elders. So, for me, the fight to love Christ’s Church was pretty real because I was being traumatized in the whole process of even trying to address what was happening to me. So, I’m in this space that is telling me, You don’t belong here. You don’t belong. Even the pastors and elders, who were trying to fight for me, what I found in two years of trying to address this through the proper church channels, is that abusers abuse because they can. There’s a culture of enablement that has to happen for this to be in place. So, what do you do when you find that out? When you’re not safe in your own church. It rocks your world. You’ve got to reexamine questions, like is God who I thought he was? Where do I belong? What do we believe? You know, the basics. I was in a place where I had counterfeit belonging. So, these are very real, very existential questions, but when I go to God’s word, and in my own experiences, encountering Christ in his word, that is very ugly and very different from what we are being called to. So what I want to do is, like, hope is not sentimental, it actually bears scars, hope resides with our agony, naming our wounds. The whole time people were trying to keep me quiet from what was happening to me. Naming our wounds is an act of hope. It’s not protecting the church to be silent and to continue giving a pathway for abusive leaders. Naming our hope, or naming our wounds is actually an act of hope because you are saying something isn’t right here. There’s something much more beautiful, much more glorious, and a love much more powerful than where I’m finding myself right now. So that was a real fight then for me to get a picture of what that is, right? And then to walk into that.

Jason Daye 
Yeah. You know, Aimee, as you’re saying that, many people who are subjected to what you have been subjected to would just say, You know what? It’s not worth it. That’s why a lot of people leave the church, you know what I mean? So I commend you for digging in and saying, Wait, there’s something like all this junk that’s happening, that isn’t Jesus, that isn’t his church. Like, I know the depth of Christ. So talk to us a little bit, Aimee, about how you, and perhaps you did go through moments as we all do of maybe doubt and do I want to endure this? Help us because I think there are others, I know there are others, who have endured similar things, right? Or abuse within the church in some way or traumatic church events, and those types of things. For you in your journey, what led you to say, No, I’m digging in here because I know there’s something beautiful here.

Aimee Byrd 
I mean, I was really wrestling with God in prayer. I thought that I needed to address this through the proper channels of church discipline and government. That was a two-year process, Jason, which was way more traumatizing than the things being said about me and basing all of that. So there were these realities that didn’t all show at once. Over time, I realized how bad the culture that I was in was because I loved the church that I was in, and I even loved the denomination I was in at the time. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted reform, like what we talk about all the time. So, I’ve wrestled with God over that. The place in his word that I was deeply ministered by, which may sound weird, I think, to even church leaders, who’s your audience because I gotta tell you, I’ve never heard one sermon from the Song of Songs in my 48 years of life. Yet, the Song of Songs used to be one of the most quoted books of Scripture, from the early church up to the medieval church. They read the song and commented on The Song so much that they looked at it as like a hermeneutical key. If they didn’t understand another part of Scripture, they would look in The Song to help them better understand it because The Song is like all of Scripture in concentrate, it really tells the whole story there. There are so many echoes and allusions in The Song to other parts of the canon of Scripture. It’s just saturated. It’s so amazing to see. But for me, I was in this culture where theological precision was kind of equated to sanctification, right? So I took that very seriously because I do want to know God rightly. So getting these statements about who God is and these doctrinal confessions down was important to me and I still see the value in it. But I found myself in a presbytery meeting, like a regional meeting of church leaders where they argued for two hours, I’m not allowed to speak for two hours over the book of church order, and it was like a charade. I was mocked openly in this meeting but not allowed to speak. I was derided. I was called “that lady” while I was sitting right there. The callousness and the dehumanization that was before me, and these were supposed to be responsible leaders doing holy work, right? They’re deciding whether or not these charges that were being pressed against my pastor and my elders were going to hold because they were standing up for me and they were charged for that, the way and the manner in which they did it. So I’m there to support them and being mocked. The darkness of it all. Here these guys are charading like they’re lawyers, but bad ones. They’re not good at it. But they’re not lawyers. They’re pastors, they’re elders, they’re supposed to be shepherding me, even if I am in error in some way. Please shepherd me in that then. Yet, I didn’t see Christ in there. I didn’t see him at all. So to be able to go to the Song of Songs, I realized that it isn’t doctrine that is going to transform your heart, as important as it is, right? I witnessed complete spiritual immaturity in these leaders who are dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s like crazy. There was no Christ in that room. There was no love in that room. It was a theology without love, which is super scary to me. In the Song of Songs, you see allegory, poetry, metaphor, typology, and beauty. So it does something to you that these statements and didactical teaching don’t do, it actually beckons you into that beauty. It stirs your longings, it helps develop your desire even. So, we have a lot of poetry in Scripture, we have all the songs, we have Lamentations, I mean, we have some good stuff in there. All of that’s meant for our sanctification, for our spiritual growth, but even more so, to bring us closer to God. That’s what the Song of Songs really does. The ancient Church Fathers called it the Holy of Holies of Scripture. Like, if you want to go somewhere in God’s word and experience Christ intimately, go to the Song of Songs.

Jason Daye 
Wow, that’s awesome. I love how you bring that out in the book, this idea that this is almost a neglected part of Scripture, right? Yet has so much richness that speaks deeply into where we find ourselves today, the season that the church finds herself in here, specifically in the Western world, which is awesome. Now, whenever the title of your book is The Hope in Our Scars, right? So we could talk a lot about scars and woundedness. But, you didn’t title the book, “We’ve Got Scars”. It’s The Hope in Our Scars. So, Aimee, lead us into, as you’re processing through all this, as you’re digging deeply into scripture. For people who have not read one of Aimee’s books, you do a very thorough job of looking deeply and looking broadly. You bring a lot of resources, you look across church history, you look at different voices, and different traditions within Orthodox Christianity, which is powerful, and which I appreciate in your books. Just a side note. But this idea of hope, right? It’s The Hope in Our Scars. Talk to us about that hopeful piece of it all.

Aimee Byrd 
Yeah, I mean, I think we use the word hope so lightly and cheaply. We equate it to optimism, everything’s going to be okay, everything happens for a reason, and we sentimentalize it. So it trivializes. Hope is gritty. Hope is disruptive. So in naming our wounds, I do believe that’s an act of hope because you’re looking at this wound and saying, this isn’t right. As you’re healing, and you think of an actual scar, healing a wound. As you’re healing that scar, you can run your finger over it and it bears testimony. It bears testimony to where you’ve been, what you’ve been through, even calling out to God in lamentation, and all of those important important things because Christ meets us there, right? It bears testimony to Christ working in that, Christ meeting us there, the others that he brings to us in meeting us there, and where he is taking us. So that’s what I really want to talk about because I believe that that is the Christian life. I work from one verse in scripture where Jesus says, in John 12:24, unless you’re like a grain of wheat and fall to the earth and die, you remain alone. But if you die, you will bear much fruit. So there’s so much going on here. Obviously, we know, he is the model of this, right? He’s speaking of his own resurrection. But in our spiritual life and our Christian life, which is our life right now. But it’s also material. Man, that is what it’s supposed to look like. Dying to things that we don’t even realize that we’re holding on to. This whole Christian hustle. The striving of the person that we think we’re supposed to be, not looking at all the things we’re stuffing down that we’re not happy about, and that we’re not growing in. But when something disruptive happens to you, you have to look at that stuff, and think again, right? If you can do that, if you can shed those things to the underground because we’re learning in that verse, Okay, the big consequence here is that you remain alone. So that must not be good. It’s not good to be alone. The funny thing is, we want belonging, and we’re doing all this striving to get belonging we think. But when we are able to shed those things, for me, a big one was my reputation, it’s a good thing. I should want to hold on to that, be a good witness for Christ, and all those things. No, I am not Jezebel. But to come to terms with to the underground that goes, I’m gonna bury that in the soil. Christ, my reputation is better in your hands than in my own hands. The funny thing is when you do that, and I use a poem by Malcolm Guite that really emphasizes this. He’s kind of praying that he could be like this grain of wheat that falls to the underground. He calls it the crowded underground where we see the earthly otherness of every other. He calls it where the other fall and gather, and that’s just it, right? You look to your left. You look to your right. You’re clobbered down there on the underground, it’s crowded, and it’s full of people doing the same thing. This is when we really have to say, wait, I say I believe in the Holy Spirit. But am I really going to rely on his power right now, to just die to this, give it to you, Lord, and bury it down there, wait with each other, and see what fruit is going to come out of it? Part of that group we find, and the big surprise is this community, are these people who are with us in it. That’s where the joy really is. Seeing Christ in the faces of others, seeing his love for all these other marginalized people, and I think that’s where the church should be because He loves the Church.

Jason Daye 
I love that, Aimee, I love that. It’s interesting, as you’re sharing and we think about it, we can look at the damage that abuse of power within the church can do to an individual, right? We see that and our heart is broken for that. There’s also the damage that it does to the witness of the church, the greater witness of the church in the community. But as you were just speaking there, Aimee, I was thinking, to take a posture like you have, and like your suggestion, what you write about in The Hope in Our Scars, really helps that it counteracts in a really big way the damage to the witness of the church, whenever those who have been hurt, neglected, marginalized, abused, pushed down, or pushed out by people who aren’t honoring God within the church, let’s just call it what it is, right? Whenever you can take a posture where you can honor God in the midst of that, that elevates the witness of God’s people to such a degree. It’s so fascinating how God works through that whenever we open ourselves up to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us even in the midst of those scars, right? And the impact that it has beyond the healing in our own lives. So, Aimee, can you talk to me a little bit and share with us just a little bit about that ripple effect of okay, yes, I as an individual am wrestling through this. This is part of my spiritual journey. This is part of the scars healing over that crisis in my life. But talk to us a bit about the ripple effect of what does that do for the beauty of Christ’s church in the world.

Aimee Byrd 
Yeah, because so often we think, Well, if I share this, I’m going to be sharing all this ugliness that’s in the church, right? I gotta tell you, I have friends, many friends, who are not believers or who are curious and looking from the outside. As I was going through what I was going through, I was like, how much of this do I share? Because what’s happening to me is very public. But I know some of my friends, they’re gonna read what I’m writing about on my blog as I’m documenting what’s happening. I’m only documenting the public things that have happened and the public meetings. But they’re gonna be like, Yeah, this is why I don’t go to church, it’s full of hypocrites. Even one of the books I wrote, Why Can’t We Be Friends, which is basically a theology about siblingship in the church, right? Male and female friendships and the problems that we’re having with that in the church. It’s funny because my husband’s a public school teacher and my kids were in public school. So I mean, he works with a bunch of women, a bunch of women, and we’ve had to have these conversations throughout our whole marriage of how do you honor the women you work with well, have good relationships, friendships, honor God, honor your wife, and all that. It seems like in the secular world it’s easier to do than it is in the church. So, again, witness-wise, and the blowback I got from that book, it’s just amazing to me. But then at the same time, I know that there’s something beckoning them, it’s the same thing that’s beckoning me. So a lot of times, we’re talking to an audience here of church leaders, so I want to say, a lot of times, church leaders can get stuck in this insular bubble of the Christian world and the church. You’re employed by the church or a parachurch organization. So you work with Christians and a lot of times it’s a male culture. So you’re not exposed to a lot of other voices. A lot of times, just the way it works demographically, we’re in churches where we’re all in the same social class, and often, a majority in our ethnicity, and all those things. Oftentimes, pastor’s kids are at home school or private school. So everything is insulated. There’s even Christian sports now and all of that. I saw that in the sense that my kids are in public school, my husband’s in public school, I have a lot of friends who are parents of my kid’s friends, and my husband’s co-workers, and all these things. I think it’s easy to look at these people as projects and us as this witness to these projects, instead of really building relationships and finding out what’s going on in people’s lives. God’s beckoning all of our hearts, not in the same way, per se, but to the same thing. To love, to beauty, to goodness, to truth, and to Christ. We all have that longing. So, I think it is important to me, some of the things that they’re already seeing anyway, and say, man, we got this wrong. But could you imagine what it would look like for us to say those things and to lament those things as a church, and to really see other people that aren’t like us, and to love, to want to learn from them too, and to see them as gifts not as projects, you know?  Then to be there on that underground, waiting together for what Christ is going to do, and to be surprised by that. To be fully dependent on the Holy Spirit and to be surprised by that. I mean, what would that witness do?

Jason Daye 
Yeah, I love that. You know, Aimee, as you’re talking I was thinking, people appreciate honesty. They do. People just appreciate honesty. Whenever people think of cover-up or whatever, they think of politicians covering up or they think of a police force covering up something because they’re trying to protect something that didn’t go right or they’re trying to protect someone. Then they begin to associate the church with, oh, they’re trying to cover up. No, that’s not it at all. It’s much healthier to say, Hey, listen, we messed up. I mean, people can say that, right? Say, we made a mistake, we messed up, we’re going to own it. We’re going to change. We’re going to do better. That people can appreciate. It’s just interesting. It’s fascinating how often we get to that kind of protective posture rather than openness.

Aimee Byrd 
We’re people of the gospel. We should be in a culture where repentance comes easy.

Jason Daye 
Yeah. That’s the hardest thing. I love that. Aimee, love it. So real quickly. A couple of quick things. One is I’d love to hear as you have put The Hope in Our Scars out there, right? I’d love to hear, what is your hope for The Hope in Our Scars? What do you hope this book does or how it might help?

Aimee Byrd 
There are multiple things that I hope the book does. I mean, I would love us to just be able to have conversations better. So at the end of each chapter, I have discussion questions. You can do them for personal reflection, but I think it’s much better if you practice this in a small group, and if leaders were to lead the way in these conversations and say, what did you experience after reading this chapter? Have your experiences been anything like this in our church? Where can we grow in this area? Let me hear from you, you know? But then to actually lead that. Where might you disagree with Aimee even? Where might you want to go after reading this? I would love that. That would be fabulous. Then another big aim I have is for those who are disillusioned in the church. You might not have been publicly humiliated and harassed like me, but there are so many who are disillusioned with the church. You look at scripture and see a bunch of disillusioned people in Scripture, right? The disciples themselves after the resurrection, even as Jesus gives the Great Commission and we still read that some of them still doubt it. So, I mean, disillusionment is okay, God uses it as a tool to point us to Christ. So, there are so many deconstructing right now, and for good reasons. I want this book to be a hope for what the church is to be. It’s not some idealized hope, either, though. That means that we’re okay with the parts that need growth. We’re okay with just saying, this is where we are. It can be quite beautiful, I think, to do that. To be with each other and to see Christ. He’s not embarrassed by us. Look at scripture, it’s not curated, he doesn’t need a curated people. Then thirdly, my ulterior motive, which I think is really so important to all of this is to recover a proper reading of the Song of Songs and to get into hearing that from the pulpit more. To hear us encouraging one another with the words of Christ in The Song and the words of the woman, the bride to Christ. To then, I think, recover beauty itself.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, love that. Absolutely love that. For those of you who are hanging out with us, if you want to learn more about The Hope in Our Scars, Aimee’s latest book, you can find that information in the toolkit for this episode. You’ll find links to the book and you can find that You’ll find different resources and links to the book. Aimee, as we’re winding down, I want to give you the opportunity. Brothers and sisters who are serving on the frontlines of church, frontlines of ministry, what words of encouragement do you have for them?

Aimee Byrd 
I mean, your job is hard and I don’t envy you. The funny thing is one of the things charged against me was that Aimee wants to take over and be a pastor. I’m like, That’s terrifying to me. Your job is hard, but it’s also so incredibly rewarding. So yeah, I just want to encourage pastors and leaders. One of the scariest verses of scripture to me is where Jesus rebuking the scribes and the Pharisees, and he says, Woe to you. You are shutting the door to the Kingdom of God. I don’t think anybody gets into like the pastoral ministry ever to do that. We can do it inadvertently, thinking we’re actually doing something for God. So that would be my encouragement. I think where The Song takes us is, Let’s be like openers of the door and be like, Look, what’s in here, man. Like, come on. Let’s enter into this together.

Jason Daye 
Yeah, absolutely. Love it. Aimee, thank you so much. Thank you for this book, The Hope in Our Scars. Absolutely awesome. Thank you for taking time to hang out with us on FrontStage BackStage. We appreciate it so very much. God bless you.

Aimee Byrd 
Yes, it’s my pleasure, Jason. Thanks for having me on.

Jason Daye
Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at That’s And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.

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