Speaking primarily from his own traumatic experiences and pastoring others through their own, Matthew Spandler-Davidson led a workshop for pastors at the 2021 TGC National Conference titled “How the Cross Offers Healing for Victims of Abuse.”
Having both experienced and seen abuse as a child—from beatings to rape to being smothered with a pillow—he was left shy, insecure, bitter, angry, and self-centered. It was through the care of a rugged fisherman with a thick Scottish accent, a glass eye, and a long beard that he was introduced to the Bible and the gospel broke into his stubborn, dead, and cold heart. Hope was stirred as Christ and his church became a refuge for his weary soul, and he worked to create the same for other victims when he became a pastor. Spandler-Davidson enumerated three ways churches can become a hope-giving refuge for victims of abuse and several ways to ensure that your church can be a place of safety for the vulnerable and healing for the hurting.