It takes great courage to lead a congregation … and perhaps even more to stand before that congregation and explore topics that are awkward, embarrassing, or challenging to discuss. Issues related to mental health are among the toughest subjects for church leaders to tackle, yet today we cannot afford to sidestep them. We know your congregation looks to you for guidance and answers and we don’t want them to look elsewhere for education and direction. Rarely will google and you-tube present the Biblical worldview you’re teaching week after week.
But what do you do when you’re asked to intervene in ways you had never imagined back in Bible school? How do you respond when a well-respected church member chooses suicide? What do you do when a parent tells you her child claims to be transgender or when a member of your youth group announces he or she is gay at student event? How does one counsel someone who has discovered their spouse is being unfaithful or deep in the grasp of an addiction? Issues like these could easily keep you up at night, and trust me when I say you’re not alone in this. The congregation that looks to you is also grappling with these issues. We see it every day at Care to Change.
As parents, we don’t get to choose the issues our children will face. Often, we summon courage we didn’t know we had to answer the questions or address the issues that shock and frighten us, because we know we’re responsible for their guidance and safety.
In the same way, we’ve seen churches and church leaders courageously provide leadership with life’s toughest topics. Church members have learned what you believe and why. They have learned what to do when they find themselves face-to-face with those issues. When you’re willing to discuss those issues publicly with the congregation, your members are more willing to discuss them privately with your team, and with us.
There’s probably a lot of reasons the phrase “be not afraid” or “take courage” appears so often in Scripture. God knows how terrifying challenges can be and He wants us to face them with courage, confidence, and the knowledge His wisdom is available and His love is secure. When we’re not afraid to tackle the toughest issues, we foster courage, confidence, and love in those we serve.
We are here to help you with those hard topics. Whether it’s presenting a workshop for your congregation or pastoral team, providing one-on-one counseling for matters that may be beyond your comfort, or supporting your team’s emotional and spiritual needs as they respond to the never-ending demands from others, Care to Change is ready to support your ministry. Not sure how to proceed? Why not start by having a conversation with us?
April Bordeau is the Director of Care to Change. A licensed clinical social worker, she has focused on helping children and families overcome challenges in their lives for over two decades.