This is my 8th and final post in my series on Depression, Burnout & Ministry. There are lots of things I wish I would have written about in this series, and lots more that has been left unsaid. Hopefully this will be an ongoing topic because it is an issue that is so prevalent among us, but often ignored.
What I hope that these 8 posts accomplish is bringing to light the reality that depression is all around us, and it knows no boundaries. It does not matter if you are a Christian or non-Christian. It doesn’t matter if your spiritual life is going well, or not so well. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old. Depression is real and affects many, many people.
That being said, one of my hopes is that we interact with those suffering from depression in loving, compassionate and non-judgmental ways.
There are many ways to do this, but let me leave you with one idea: HOSPITALITY.
“One way to build upon people’s strengths is to show them hospitality. The counseling session needs to be a place where counselees are welcomed, encouraged, and complimented for what they are doing well, not where their past wrongs or present pathology is dredged up….Showing hospitality has for centuries been one of the vital tasks of pastoral care (Depression and Hope: New Insights for Pastoral Counseling, 61).
Just as a therapist welcomes, as well as provides an encouraging environment where one’s strengths and possibilities for the future are opened up, those in the Church need to do the same.
My hope is that one day those suffering from depression will not just seek the safety within the therapist’s walls, but will find a safety within the walls of the Church.
- Do you know anyone right now who is suffering from depression?
- What can you do to come alongside of them and show hospitality?
- What might hospitality look like for someone in the context of depression?
Previous Posts in the Depression, Burnout & Ministry Series
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Deciding to Get Honest About Our Journeys
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Anne Jackson Interview, Part 1
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Anne Jackson Interview, Part2
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Assessment
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Christians and Medications
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Discernment in Pastoral Caregiving
Depression, Burnout & Ministry: Soren Kierkegaard on Actuality, Freedom and Possibility
Disclaimer: This blog post is not to be a substitute for professional help or advice. Please consider seeking out professional help if you consider yourself to be at risk for depression.