There is a need to recognize the trends and statics in the Christian church that affect our children and adults in our church family. There should be a moral response that requires Biblical understanding for mental health issues in the church. In our churches, there is a lack of support and understanding of mental health. The cultural and church response is to attach a stigma to the people who counselors, therapists, or psychiatrists. Most pastors are not trained psychologists, so there is a need to teach basic psychology and counseling in seminary. Suppose a pastor does not learn psychology in seminary, than there should be a way in which they can take further education. Churches are not often equipped professionally to handle mental health issues that arise. Churches need to be conditioned or structured to respond with the grace and passion of Christ’s love toward those who struggle with mental health issues. The church must work toward ending the stigmata attached to mental health needs.
Jesus always showed compassion by connecting to those in anguish and despair because he looked at the heart and saw the whole person. Most Christians overlook mental health needs, not bringing them to the forefront of Christian ministry in the church. Churches should hold seminars or small groups to deal with mental health issues. In these groups, people can share stories and formulate ideas to deal with mental health issues from a Biblical perspective. God wants to use you too to fulfill His purposes on the earth.
Ask for help – If you think you are suffering from any form of mental health problem, ask for help. There is no shame in admitting you need to speak to someone. Prayer coupled with action is powerful and asking for help is taking that first step.
Faith without works is dead – This quote comes from James 2:14-26 and highlights the power of doing something rather than simply having faith. In other words, what do you have faith for? If someone tells you they are experiencing mental health problems, practical steps are just as important as prayer. Offer your support and recommend that together you get in touch with someone qualified, such as a GP or a counselor.
You are never alone – Poor mental health can make us feel ashamed and alone. The reality is that two-thirds of us suffer from some form of mental health problem, and the more we talk about it and are honest, the easier it becomes for people to get the help they need.
Healing is not always instant – Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. That is both physical and mental healing. Rather than just waiting, what steps can you take to improve your situation? This may be different for everyone. Do you need to spend more time resting? Do you need to exercise and get more fresh air? Maybe a new hobby and to be more sociable? Do you need “me time” to de-stress? Do you need to speak to a doctor or a therapist? Talk it out with God and others, and together we can do something to improve your situation.
Be transformed by the renewal of your mind – As Christians, we can rely on the promises of God. We can have hope even in the darkest days. Mental health problems can make us feel like we will never change and things will never improve. If you feel this way, look to Romans 12:2 and let the Holy Spirit give you hope that your mind can be renewed. https://www.lifechurchleeds.com/mental-health-stress/
Article is written by: Minister Darren LaBrecque