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Does the leadership in your church understand mental illnesses? Or does your pastor pulpit-shame the sick and hurting? These hacks will help you bring awareness to your church family.
What is Pulpit-Shaming?
When a pastor or church leader stands behind the pulpit and makes someone feel ashamed for the way they are. Unfortunately, it happens more often than we’d like to believe. Even worse, it can happen to someone who suffers from a mental illness. Don’t let it happen in your church. Or, if it does happen in your church, do something to stop it. All too often people (pastors) say things from a place of ignorance rather than authority. Long-held beliefs about mental illnesses shape a pastor’s narrative about depression or anxiety.
A some point, someone decided mental illnesses were a form of devil possession, attacks by the devil, or an unchristian lack of faith. It’s time to debunk those myths and help churches become what Jesus intended them to be: refuges of healing for the hurting. What can YOU do to help your church understand mental illnesses?
How to Help Your Church Understand Mental Illnesses
When a preacher gets up and tells a congregation they need to stop taking medicine for mental illnesses, he might not realize he’s asking those with Alzheimer’s to give up their medications. Alzheimer’s is a mental illness. Or that she’s asking parents of children with ADHD to quit giving meds to their kids. ADHD falls into the mental illness category, too.
Christians, even more than everyone else, need to educate themselves about mental illnesses, their causes, and their treatments. If we don’t, we may do more harm than good and fail in our mission to love others the way Jesus loves.
Psychology Today has a wonderful online resource for finding a therapist.
You can find more information about epigenetics here.
One of my favorite Christian psychiatrists who has actually experienced depression has written several books and appeared as a guest on this podcast.
NAMI–National Alliance on Mental Illness
Stop the Stigma and Share Your Story Link-up
Come Back Next Week
Next week we’ll talk about vacation. Make sure you listen in each week in June for tips on travel, reaping the best benefits of vacation, and ensuring your kids don’t drive you crazy with their laments about being bored.