On 30th August, 2018 there was an unfortunate news that the head pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino, California had committed suicide. Kayla the wife of the late Pastor Andrew Stoecklein, 30, twittered “the love of my life, the father of my children and the pastor of our incredible church took his last breath and went to be with Jesus.”
Our hearts and prayers still reach out to families who have lost loved ones to suicide.
This event brings hard thoughts to the table. The fact that there are many Christians who also think taking their life seems to be the only way out for them.
This news going viral or hitting the church and nations so hard, raises the concern of mental health in ministry. Which is meant to be helpful to many as well as a wake-up call for our churches to care better for their leadership and membership.
Since pastors and ministers are human, they are also prone to suffer from mental illness just as anyone. Their position in the church or society does not make them super-humans. They can get sick, and in many cases, suffer from mental issues like; depression and anxiety.
Ministry work has its own pressures. From spiritual to emotional, psychological and physical pressures. These pressures can lead to so many illnesses. Hence, a preacher or minister with an existing mental illness, has a bigger task dealing with ministry alongside health.
Many ministers are in very good control over all with the help of planning and medication. While others still struggle with it, yet do not open up due to fear of being seen as a failure.
On the other hand, it takes more faith and trust to live and grow in your Christian walk when you have mental illness. You need to seek professional help. God has blessed us with experts who understand situations as these. And are ready to assist you, in order to help you live right with a free spirit.