Leading a church already had its own set of challenges. Add 18 months of pandemic, social upheaval, and political unrest, and it is indeed overwhelming. Part of what makes it so difficult is that both pastors and their congregations are overwhelmed and worn out. The data on depression and mental health bear this out. Our collective mental health is not good.
Health & Well-being
I get a little annoyed each time a science and faith conversation gets railroaded by the question of origins, climate change, or some other contentious issue. Sure, these are issues that our churches must wrestle with, but by putting all our attention on areas of felt conflict, we might entirely miss the ways science reveals how God works.
When the effects of the pandemic subside—and when we can safely do so—should we go back to church? What do science and Scripture say?
The church can and should be a place of refuge for those who experience mental illness. But many in our churches—from pastors to lay-leaders to the average person in the pews—feel poorly equipped to journey alongside those who live with such illnesses. Enter John Swinton’s 2020 book, Finding Jesus in the Storm.
Twice as many people worldwide die from suicide as from homicide. How can the church work with psychologists to address this crisis?
Here’s a review from Nature about where the science stands on facemasks.