02/11/19 Filed in: Executive Director
As I was praying about what to include in the February email to our WMF family, I heard on the news about yet another young pastor committing suicide in the last few months. My heart goes out to their families, and to the church community they leave behind.
And I wonder …. I wonder if these men had opportunity to talk to someone – and I mean really talk to someone - about what they were going through. I wonder if a deeper level of fellowship, a safe environment to share about their struggles with someone who honestly cared about them (and/or professional counselling), if it would have made a difference.
In his book, The Emotionally Healthy Church, Peter Scazzero points out that “the overall health of any church or ministry depends primarily on the emotional and spiritual maturity of its leadership.” Later on, he adds that “Sadly, for too long we have delegated ‘emotional’ issues to the therapist’s office and taken responsibility only for ‘spiritual’ problems in the church. The two are inseparably linked and critical to a fully biblical discipleship…. emotional and spiritual maturity are inseparable.”
This is why developing safe, honest, loving, life-long relationships through a fellowship like World Ministry Fellowship is so important. We learn to give and receive personal ministry in a context of ongoing fellowship. We learn what maturity looks like through the lives of those who we have allowed to influence us over the years. We need to have the opportunity to talk to one another, to listen to one another, to laugh, to cry, and to minister to one another!
Our Tulsa Regional event will be March 1-2, 2019 on the topic of Emotional Health and Ministry. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to gather together and hear about emotional health in the context of ministry, to connect with your WMF ministry family, and to receive personal ministry. Dr. Nancy Cook, Dr. Paul Freeman and Jim McCool will be our speakers and we are looking forward to sharing this special time together with you.
Please know that you are not alone in the emotional struggles you face. Each of us as ministers of the gospel face challenges of our own on a daily basis. Let’s make sure we get together to support each other.
You are in our prayers, and we are here for you! Let’s get together soon – we need to talk!
Dr. Tim McKitrick
PS. Please register for this and other WMF events online or contact the office so we know you are planning to join us!