We are hearing more and more about pastors committing suicide. How can that be? Aren’t pastors supposed to be extra-spiritual? Shouldn’t they be the last to consider suicide?
It is heart-breaking to hear these stories. We don’t want to hear about pastors taking their lives. It may even make us question our faith.
Here are some things you need to know.
- Pastors are human. Not superhuman, just human.
- Mental illness is not a respecter of persons. It doesn’t care if someone has a “Rev.” in front of their names.
- Pastors are not more spiritual than other Christians. They are just Christians who have responded to a certain call.
- Being spiritual doesn’t prevent mental illness or thoughts of suicide.
- The pressures of pastoral ministry don’t make mental illness easier.
- Pastors don’t get a special pass from God that protects them from these things.
- Pastors need psychological support and community support.
- Praying doesn’t mean that thoughts of self-harm will just disappear.
- Knowing Bible verses doesn’t mean that thoughts of self-harm will just disappear.
- Some pastors get to the point where they feel as if they just can’t go on.
If you are pastor and you are struggling with mental illness and you are considering hurting yourself, reach out for help immediately. Talk to your doctor. Talk to a trained counsellor. Go to the hospital. Do what you have to to get help.