How a Church Should Respond When a Pastor Has Mental Health Problems

Episode #834
January 2, 2024
Rainer on Leadership Podcast Logo

One in four pastors say they have struggled with mental health issues, and 17% of pastors say it was diagnosed. Given the prevalence of the issue, churches cannot ignore the problem. Silence creates the perception that something is off-limits. Mental illness does not signal a lack of faith any more than contracting cancer signals a lack of faith. Thom and Sam discuss how churches can be helpful to pastors who struggle with mental health problems.

    • Remove the “taboo” label. Deal with the problem candidly but with compassion.
    • Do not discount warning signs as someone’s personality or quirks.
    • Offer a clear path for help and seek a professional opinion.
    • Create a plan based on the severity of the problem. For example, dealing with a moral failure is much different than getting help for ongoing anxiety.
    • Consider the long-term impact on the pastor and the church.


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