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Mountainview Family,  

I’m sending this email out a day late because I needed extra time to think about what I should (or should not) write. Our Monsters in the Closet series has brought us to topics that require us to think about some touchy subjects, one of them being mental health.    

I believe the Church holds the greatest message of hope for all people, especially people who struggle with any form of mental illness. Unfortunately, the Church has often not only missed opportunities for giving hope but has added to the pain and isolation.    

For instance, some people have been given advice like:

  • “You just need more faith...”
  • “You need to believe more...”
  • “You have to pray more…”
  • “Maybe this is happening to you because of sin in your life…”
  • “You need to bind these negative thoughts in the Name of Jesus...”  

Advice like this is almost always given with the best of intentions, but it’s usually void of any real understanding about mental health. For a long time, the Church at large has missed the opportunity to give hope and help in this arena.   

But there is hope on the horizon. Over the last decade, church leaders have begun to lead the charge to help Christians be better equipped to fight against the stigma of mental illness. One research discovered over 40% of people seeking help for their mental illness will go to a church leader first.   

I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or mental health professional… This causes me to pause any time I begin any discussion about this topic. I’ve learned a lot in the past several years and I still have a lot to learn.   

With this said, I want Mountainview to be a place where people can find hope for their mental health struggles. Where talking about it is okay. Where even when we don’t know what to say, people still feel love and compassion. I hope we can be a place that doesn’t try to fix people’s mental health struggles, but we make sure they are on a journey of faith with the One who can.   

Mountainview, let’s be a place where the negative stigma of mental health is gone... Where people who suffer from depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder find the same love and compassion as someone with a physical ailment or injury, like cancer or other diseases, or a broken arm or leg.    

For the next couple of messages, we will address some of these areas. As always, we will try to provide answers from a Biblical perspective. If you join us this Sunday, either in person or online at 9:00 or 10:40 am, you might be surprised to learn how many people in the Bible might have struggled with mental health.  

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Tom