Is There a Place at the Table for Leaders with Mental Illness? I Think So.

hey13 (Posted by) Level 4
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Pastor Bill Lenz, founder and pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church, committed suicide on Monday afternoon. Here is what Christ the Rock CC said in a public announcement:

Bill had been suffering from depression for the last three months. He was seeing a counselor and doctor, and reaching out to friends for help in walking through this, but depression eventually claimed his life on earth.

Lot - Illness - Depression - Years - Weeks

I have written a lot about mental illness, depression, and suicide over the years, including just a few weeks back. These topics are challenging to write due to the deep impact they have on so many today. Nonetheless, like every other topic, we press into it because we must.

Today, I want to introduce you to a friend who has been a pastor. He struggles with bipolar issues. He takes medication. And he works to manage both his manic experiences where he becomes super-charged with ideas, energy, and vision and his struggle with the dark side of the bipolar syndrome—suicidal thoughts and loss of self-identity.

Friend - Pastor - Church - Leadership - Members

My friend was the pastor of a multi-staffed church with educated leadership and members. Unfortunately, they never sat down with him and had a frank conversation about the ways that they could work together to accommodate for the challenges and accentuate the opportunities that come with mental illness. My friend chooses to remain anonymous, but here are his words:

I wish I could give permission to use my name. But someday I’d like to be a pastor again. And there is a stigma in enough churches that I would probably be seen as damaged goods. Even unfit and dangerous to others. And certainly lacking in spirituality. After all, if God can heal a demoniac, why can’t he heal depression?

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That’s a good question. But why doesn’t God supernaturally heal every broken leg, influenza, or a...
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