Speak, listen and learn

So many people have found this past while difficult. Lockdowns, social distancing, isolation, unable to see family and friends, etc. It hasn’t been an easy time for many people. The same is also true for pastors and their families.

Over the past 19 months I’ve listened to the stories of pastors who have really struggled with their mental health and who feel unable to speak about it. There can often be a fear, not only among pastors, that speaking about poor mental health means that you’re labelled as unfit, crazy, or a bit defected.

This culture around mental health is unhealthy. It is changing, but it needs to change sooner and be more widespread.

Near the beginning of lockdown a group of pastors and myself published a book about our own struggles with mental health and depression, both past and present, in a book called The Pastor with a thorn in his side. Our hope with this book is to raise awareness of depression and ministry, but also to help church members know how to support a pastor with depression.

I hope that the book will challenge you. As a pastor I hope it’ll encourage you to speak about your depression or poor mental health. As church members I hope it’ll help you listen more to the struggles of those the Lord has put over you as a spiritual leaders. As a whole church, I hope this book will help us all think about how we respond when a pastor opens up about depression and mental health.

This book will not change the world, but I hope it’ll help even just a few people be more equipped to help, listen, learn about and love those with depression.

Grab a copy here and listen to the short stories of seven pastors and how the church can help others.

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