God did not make you a pastor to keep you going to church

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I want to pause and think about a type of comment that I’ve heard a few times over the years.  It goes something along the lines of. “Perhaps the reason that God made me a pastor was to keep me in church.” Such comments are perhaps tongue in cheek but personally I’m not convinced they… Continue reading God did not make you a pastor to keep you going to church

Serving with a limp – checking in on your mental health

We’re coming up to the third anniversary of my significant brush with anxiety and depression. It was back in November 2019 that I found myself signed off from work followed by quite a challenging and tumultuous period of time (and all of that before we hit COVID). I’ve told some of my story here and… Continue reading Serving with a limp – checking in on your mental health

Good questions about depression, anxiety and mental health

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to speak to a group of teenagers about mental health and to share my own story about experiencing depression and anxiety. After speaking for a few minutes, I opened the floor to questions. I expected an awkward silence and maybe some prompted questions from the leaders but… Continue reading Good questions about depression, anxiety and mental health

Look after your leaders’ mental health

I’ve written before about my own brush with anxiety and depression. You can read my story here, here and in the book, The Pastor with a thorn in his side (ed. Steve Kneale).  I wanted to say a bit more about how churches can look after the mental health of their pastors and other leaders… Continue reading Look after your leaders’ mental health

Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons

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Traditionally one of the tensions and taboos around mental health has been the perception that this is primarily a spiritual issue with people believing that mental illness from depression through to schizophrenia is caused by sin or even by demonic oppression and possession. When I’ve written about mental health before, I’ve urged care in this… Continue reading Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons

Depression, sin and trust issues

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I just wanted to pick up on something I’ve seen suggested a few times namely that depression is intrinsically sinful because it involves a lack or loss of trust in the Lord.   I’ve seen this suggested in the context of medication -that you should be depending on God to heal you but I’ve also seen… Continue reading Depression, sin and trust issues

Should a Christian take anti-depressants?

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One question I’ve seen raised so many times is about whether or not Christians should take anti-depressants.  It’s fascinating because I rarely here the question asked about taking Ibuprofen, or going to the hospital to get your leg put in plaster if you break it. Yet, there seems to be some uncertainty about medication for… Continue reading Should a Christian take anti-depressants?

Pastors and PTSD

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From time to time I write specifically about the impact of mental health issues on pastors and church leaders. I’ve recently returned to the subject again writing about depression here and here.  I wanted to follow up these articles by writing a little about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is described on the MIND… Continue reading Pastors and PTSD

Towards a theology of depression

 Last year I contributed to a short book called “The Pastor with a thorn in his side.” It’s a book which tells the stories of 7 pastors who have faced depression during their ministry. Steve Kneale edited the book and as well as telling his own story provides an introduction and a conclusion. In those… Continue reading Towards a theology of depression