Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Feature 10.3.14 – Are Churches In Denial About Mental Illness?

Happy Friday everyone. Today ‘s post features the highest clicked article from Monday’s post. Check it out here:

Are churches in denial about mental illness?

Please read this article if you haven’t. If you have, here are a few comments.

1. Mental illness is an important issue.

There is no doubt mental illness is an important issue. I don’t think it’s something that anyone should ignore, let alone churches.

2. I don’t think every societal issue or problem has to be consistently publicly addressed.

Churches who preach through large sections of Scripture (and there are many of them) may not encounter Scripture that applies to mental illness on a regular basis.

Also, there are lots of groups that promote “Sundays” for their causes. Adoption Sunday, Persecuted Church Sunday, Porn Sunday, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, on and on it goes. NONE of these are causes are unworthy of the church’s attention.

But that doesn’t mean public promotion of certain issues is always best for the life of a church.

3. Am I in denial? I think the best way to address societal issues is . . . 

I’m hardly in denial. Of course there are times when we need to say things publicly in churches and bring attention to certain issues. But overall I think most issues and problems are best addressed on a non-public, relational level which then witnesses to the church through those transformed by them.

A man who overcomes a porn addiction is a strength and encouragement to men he knows. Those who adopt encourage the faith of others. Those involved in anti-trafficking efforts remind their small groups and social media followers of its importance, often inspiring action. The same is true of those passionate about persecution.

We all have things close to us which stoke our passions. That’s great. But we should admit that our strongest passions will not be everyone else’s passions. Someone particularly concerned about mental illness likely knows someone affected in some way. Those unaffected should be aware but may not be directly affected. How that awareness comes about can be organic and hard to quantify. That represents Christ’s body well.

4. A suggestion or two.

At our church we have had a Passion Sunday where individuals get 10-15 minutes to share their passion with the congregation as a whole. I would hope to have one in 2015 after not having one in 2014. These are great days where people can feel affirmed in their passions and bring issues and ministries to the awareness of the larger body.

Another way to promote awareness is to ask your pastor to include various issues in public prayer, and to be sure to seek prayer through regular opportunities in smaller prayer groups as well.

Think. How much should churches make others aware of societal issues and difficulties?

Act. Never be afraid to take action, and do your best to create an atmosphere in your church where passions are addressed with balanced opportunities!

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