Episode 016: Mental Health and the Local Church

As we launch the second season of the Essential Church Podcast, we sat down with Kay Warren and Tommy Hilliker to talk about the Church’s role in serving those facing mental illness.

 

One study showed that 71% percent of clergy do not feel prepared or equipped to handle a mental health crisis… it’s not really talked about in Bible college or seminary…

 

Reducing the stigma starts with the value: What are we going to be known for in our community as a church? At Saddleback, we want to be known as a church that cares…

 

Half of all mental illness shows signs by the age of 14 and 75% by age 24… so when parents are looking at their kids and they notice behavior changes, they need to pay attention to that…

 

In the church we’ve been too quick to call those behavior problems or blame the parents, and all that does is perpetuate the shame…

 

When it comes to suicide prevention, parents are terrified that if they bring it up with their kids for fear that they will plant the idea in their child’s mine… that has actually proven not to be the case… when you actually ask the question, kids are usually relieved…

 

We’re not usually very good at helping our kids articulate their feelings… make a list of “feeling words” and give them to your kids…

 

It’s almost like mining for gold with your kids… we have to work hard to help them talk about their emotions and feelings…

 

We don’t wait until people are in stage 4 cancer to help people… the earlier we address mental illness, the better…

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

1 – Do you and your team feel prepared to help people struggling with mental illness? Why or why not?

2 – To what extent is the culture of your team, church, or family safe for people to admit their mental health struggles?

3 – What can you do to better equip yourself, your team, and your church to identify mental illness when it manifests and lend a helping hand?

 

RESOURCES

National Alliance on Mental Illness – https://www.nami.org/

Mental Health First Aid – https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/

http://kaywarren.com/

Episode 012: Blending the Contemplative and Charismatic

For this episode of the Essential Church podcast, we’re joined by Pastor Rich Villodas of New Life Fellowship in Queens, NY to discuss the contemplative and charismatic traditions of the Church.

We started noticing that we had lots of gifts, but not a love of love and character… our church went in search of something more to try to balance out…

 

I think we have to root the contemplative and the charismatic streams in the ground of a robust Pneumatology… the intent of the Scriptures is the coming of God’s presence among his people…

 

If the Holy Spirit in John 3 is depicted as wind, then we have to make space for a multi-dimensional Spirit who comes to people in different ways…

 

I see the two married together – these are various, great manifestations of the grace of the Spirit, whether in power or in stillness and silence…

 

What often happens is that you have one sector of the Church that has a narrow view of how God has manifested grace through the ages, and then they get into their enclave or stream [to the neglect of others]…

 

We often don’t pause to see the myriad of ways God has come to us through the centuries…

 

When we swung the pendulum, I think we swung it too far… when you look at Corinthians 13, you don’t see Paul saying that once you get your act together, you can use your gifts again… he just says to use them with love…

 

What this is looking like for us is that I’m teaching on it more… we’re offering more trainings for people… more and more we’re creating space in our worship gatherings for moments of pause to recognize that perhaps God wants to do something right now…

 

For me it feels like I’m getting back to my roots…

 

Pursue the work of the Spirit in your life and don’t put restrictions on what shape or what narrow tradition it needs to take…

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • What did you think about Rich’s discussion of the charismatic and contemplative streams? Which do you most identify with?
  • Does your church have a culture that is open to the multifaceted work of the Spirit, or are your boxes narrow?
  • What can you do to expand your church’s receptivity to the full range of the Spirit’s work and power?

 

 

RESOURCES

Way of the Heart (Nouwen)

Streams of Living Water (Foster)

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Scazerro)

God’s Empowering Presence (Fee)

Sober Intoxication of the Spirit (Cantalamessa)

 

Episode 011: The Church and Race

For this week’s podcast, we’re joined by Pastor Derwin Gray of Transformation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina for a conversation on race, diversity, and leading multiethnic churches.
 

 

Episode 011 – SHOW NOTES – Derwin Gray – The Church and Race

 

We believe that the church is God’s primary vehicle to transform the world, and for us, being multiethnic is intrinsic to the Gospel…

 

Theology is for ecclesiology… God wants a family… and this message isn’t preached… we’ve stripped the Bible of its context and we wonder why we struggle with discipleship…

 

A homogenous church would have been unthinkable to the Apostle Paul… God’s fulfilling his covenant with Abraham must be a front burner issue or we are going to have an underdeveloped view of the gospel…

 

When racism is rarely preached in a church, you can believe that a lot of racism is [present] in that church…

 

I have a pretty good name in Charlotte, and I thought, “If I get treated this way, imagine how people who don’t have my privilege will get treated, constantly…”

 

I think the church is the answer… our Sermon on the Mount ethic needs to shape how we live and move and breathe…

 

We as the church must become a classroom to teach the world what love looks like…

 

Here’s the thing: we haven’t been taught how to do this… we need churches that know how to do this to teach other churches how to do it…

 

You can’t cultivate a multiethnic church if you don’t lead a multiethnic life…

 

You can’t be a consumer and play on a team, but you can be a consumer and be in the church… in the church we’re actually designing our services for you to consume, and so no wonder we struggle with it!

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM

  • Do you believe that the gospel speaks to racial issues? Why or why not?
  • Is your church homogeneous? Why?
  • What can you and your church do to begin to move towards a greater engagement with racial issues and greater ethnic diversity?

 

 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Derwin Gray – The HD Leader

Episode 008: Restoring Fallen Leaders

In this episode, we’re joined by two incredible leaders, Pastor Jimmy Evans and Pastor Tom Lane. Not only have they led faithfully in local churches for most of their lives, they’ve also played integral roles in restoring fallen leaders back to health. So we sat down with them and asked them to share their wisdom. We pray that it blesses and encourages you.

 

Episode 008 – Restoring Fallen Leaders

 

Repentance is everything… everything is possible when you’re dealing with a repentant leader

 

Don’t go faster than the heart of the person you are trying to restore… 100% of my response [as a leader seeking to help restore another leader] depends on the person’s heart…

 

The sin did not happen overnight… so to expect an instantaneous restoration is unfair and impossible… the foundations of people’s lives need to be rebuilt…

 

The goal is not just to restore them to ministry but to restore them to being a healthy human…

 

The temptation is to try to deal with this from the perspective of “How quickly can we get everything back the way it was?” This is not the goal if you are focused correctly. We’re trying to restore you to your loving relationship with God…

 

There are four things you have to do when there’s been a failure: 1) stabilize the situation, 2) walk in a process of [adapting to] the new reality, 3) reactivate your giftedness, not for vocational purposes but for volunteer purposes, 4) move into a vocation that God opens up…

 

Under the best scenarios, it’s usually about six months per step, IF the person is humble, broken, yielded to God, and submitted…

 

When the person in authority is the one who created the offense, they cannot stay in the home of the people they’ve hurt… for the body to heal and for him to heal, they need to go to a separate place to get healing…

 

In every restoration, there has to be a public repentance to the extent that the offense was public… and afterward, there is a public act of forgiving that leader…

 

The fallen leader has a responsibility to show repentance, and the church has a responsibility to show grace… with those two things in place, we can see miracles happen…

 

 

RESOURCES

Pure Desire Ministries – puredesire.org

Gateway Network – gatewaynetwork.com

Tom’s Book – Foundations of Healthy Church Government