Recent news of another pastor taking his own life has us all hurting and questioning.
How should we approach the reality of depression among Christian leaders, especially among those of us who preach and teach the Good News of Jesus?
Whether you are a pastor, church leader or just happened to be searching the web on this subject, here are a few thoughts about pastors, from a pastor, to help guide your conversations.
Pastors aren’t immune… to anything. We are flawed, failed, tempted and tried, and our calling doesn’t magically make us somehow above the things that challenge others, including an unseen sickness like depression.
Pastors are lonely… at least it often feels that way. We may be surrounded by people, many are even very encouraging. Still, church leadership can leave us feeling very much isolated no matter how many “likes” we get on social media.
Pastors don’t have all the answers… too many think they do (maybe even a few us pastors). We have some education, attended a conference or two and have some experience. The very Word of God is right there at our fingertips on a daily basis.
Make no mistake, there is hope in Jesus Christ.
Still, that doesn’t mean we always know exactly how to prescribe it in the real world to others or even ourselves.
Pastors are a target… and we need a lot of grace and prayer. Sure, the devil is trying to take everyone down with him in the end. Still, everyone knows that in warfare, if you can take down leaders, the impact on your enemy is multiplied many fold.
In short, pastors are people.
What can you do to deal with the pressures and stresses of ministry life as a pastor, or to come alongside one that you care about? We’ll talk about that in Depressed, Part 2.
What would you say about the realities that pastors face? Share your insights below in the reply section. We would love to hear from you!
Need help right now? You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).