Mental health issues are real issues that people navigate every day. I believe the church is the best place to turn when we are struggling. Yet, church leaders often struggle with how to offer counsel and care in the best way. Some assert that every issue is rooted in sin and therefore can only be resolved in the truth of Scripture. Others don’t apply the Scriptures to mental or emotional health instead punting every counsel and care need to the world of psychology. The Bible is clear that sin entered the world in Genesis 3 and broke everything. We are all marred by sin. The Scripture is also clear that people will struggle in life because of sin. The Good news demonstrates God is actively restoring and redeeming the world through His crucified, resurrected Son, Jesus. Eternally, Jesus is the answer to every kind of brokenness. Sometimes though, people need a doctor as much as they need a prayer. For instance, most wouldn’t hesitate to recommend someone to an oncologist if there was a remote possibility of cancer. We would pray and we would refer. We wouldn’t assume that the cancer was caused by the effects of personal sin. Why do we not approach mental health with the same holistic perspective? When is biblical counsel alone enough and when does someone need more? While embracing a biblical worldview and believing in the freeing, restorative power of the gospel, I have learned to build a team around the people that I counsel as a pastor. I recently created a diagram to help our team understand how to best help people. I think it is self explanatory. I hope it helps you and your church as you seek to understand, counsel, and care for people.
5 thoughts on “Basic guidance for the church learning to help people navigate real mental health issues in 300 words or less.”
Great message.. I’m encouraged by your words and pray to come out of the cycle soon. I’m touching all three treatment phases hoping for relief. 1 Cor 10:31
Praying for your healing and relief.
Well said, Brian. As a person who has experienced all of the above on your diagram, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for talking about this!
Thank you for sharing this. Some people in Biblical counseling arena believe all psychology is sin, such as Jay Adams followers. I may have been misled but I thought some of the leaders at Bay Area promoted this idea which was why we left Bay Area Church. I tried to make appointments to discuss it and determine what the leadership perspective was on mental health issues but everyone was really too busy in that season to get back to me. God worked everything out for good but I am glad to know that I misunderstood. I really admire your leadership and pray for your church. May God continue to multiply His love and healing through your ministry!
In Him, Angel
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Hi Angel. I hope your move to SC has been wonderful. I can assure you the leaders of Bay Area Church do not promote the idea that all psychology is sin. It would be helpful for me to know how you got that impression though. Maybe you could email me directly at the address listed on our church website. Thanks so much for your comment. I enjoyed the time with your guys in Israel. Praying that the Henning family has favor and peace.