The Role of the Church in Mental Health

Adapted from hope4mentalhealth.com

 
2 Cor 1:3-4 MSG
3 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! 4 He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

THE CHURCH MUST TAKE THE LEAD IN DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

• Three Reasons Why:

1. Biblical Reason

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” –Matthew 9:35

Jesus did preaching, that’s evangelism, He did teaching, that’s education and He did healing.

2. Historical Reason

The church has a 2000 year history of caring for the sick.

3. Practical Reason

When you talk to people who are in pain. People typically contact their church before they go anywhere else
When you talk to people who are in pain. People typically contact their church before they go anywhere else.

• The Church must remove the stigma

“Why do you think that people are hesitant to talk about mental illness?”
Your brain is just another organ. It is not a sin to be sick. It’s just part of your body. How do we remove the stigma? It starts with realizing this: we’re all broken.

Your brain is just another organ. It is not a sin to be sick. It’s just part of your body. How do we remove the stigma? It starts with realizing this: we’re all broken.

• We must be equipped and educated

Studies have shown that many people go to the church before they go anywhere else, so we need to be teaching and equipping the frontline.

That’s at the most basic level and involves brain damage:

it involves brain chemistry,
it involves good overall health,
it involves diet, exercise,
it involves getting enough sleep,
it involves stress management.

All of these things are factors, biological factors of your mental health.

• The Church and Families have a role.

We need to raise the awareness of the power and the potential of churches being the vanguard, being the frontline, being the triage engaging in a faith based model of mental health ministry.

• The Church must support people living with mental illness.

We just want you to know – we care about your pain.

Your illness is not your identity.

Your chemistry is not your character, it does not define you.

Many identify with their hurt, they identify with their pain, they identify with their struggle or their sin or their loss.

At Celebrate Recovery we say, “No, no, no that’s not your identity.”

Your primary identity is not in your illness. Your primary identity is in your Creator and your Savior.

There is no comeback without a setback.

What you’re going through right now is not the end of your life, it is a season of your life.