Attaching to God: Neuroscience-informed Spiritual Formation

088: Don't Do Nothing about Mental Health in the Church

May 07, 2024 Season 6 Episode 88
088: Don't Do Nothing about Mental Health in the Church
Attaching to God: Neuroscience-informed Spiritual Formation
More Info
Attaching to God: Neuroscience-informed Spiritual Formation
088: Don't Do Nothing about Mental Health in the Church
May 07, 2024 Season 6 Episode 88

There is an innate need in all of us to know that there is something more beautiful than the dark places of the world we live in. After two losses within their community just prior to the 2020 pandemic, St. Andrew Methodist Church in Plano, TX discerned that God was asking them to go on the offense against the darkness of mental illness.

This is the story of Beacon of Light, a ministry providing much-needed resources, support, and treatment for those struggling with mental health issues while also empowering Christ-centered communities to find hope even in the most difficult times.

Geoff speaks with Arthur Jones and Doug Reed. Arthur is the lead pastor of St. Andrews Methodist church in Plano, Texas. Doug Reed is the executive director of Beacon of Light, launched out of St. Andrews. 

Sign up for more information:

Stay Connected:

  • NEED spiritual direction or coaching that aligns with this podcast? Connect with Cyd Holsclaw here.
  • Join the Embodied Faith community to stay connected and get posts, episodes, & resources.
  • Support the podcast with a one-time or regular gift (to keep this ad-free without breaking the Holsclaw's bank).
Show Notes Transcript

There is an innate need in all of us to know that there is something more beautiful than the dark places of the world we live in. After two losses within their community just prior to the 2020 pandemic, St. Andrew Methodist Church in Plano, TX discerned that God was asking them to go on the offense against the darkness of mental illness.

This is the story of Beacon of Light, a ministry providing much-needed resources, support, and treatment for those struggling with mental health issues while also empowering Christ-centered communities to find hope even in the most difficult times.

Geoff speaks with Arthur Jones and Doug Reed. Arthur is the lead pastor of St. Andrews Methodist church in Plano, Texas. Doug Reed is the executive director of Beacon of Light, launched out of St. Andrews. 

Sign up for more information:

Stay Connected:

  • NEED spiritual direction or coaching that aligns with this podcast? Connect with Cyd Holsclaw here.
  • Join the Embodied Faith community to stay connected and get posts, episodes, & resources.
  • Support the podcast with a one-time or regular gift (to keep this ad-free without breaking the Holsclaw's bank).

[00:00:15] Geoff Holsclaw: There is an innate need in all of us to know that there is something more beautiful than the dark places in the world that we live in after several losses in their community, just prior to the pandemic, St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Plano. Except. Plano or Plano, I always say it wrong, Texas, discern that God was asking them to go on the offensive against the darkness of mental illness.

And today we're going to hear a bit of their story and listen to what God has been doing in and through them. This is Geoff and Cyd Holzkla. Sid is not here with us today, but this is the attaching to God podcast where we are seeking to integrate neuroscience, spirituality, and faith produced as always by grassroots Christianity, which is seeking to grow faith for every day. Today we have pastors, Arthur Jones and Doug Reed on the show. Arthur is the lead pastor of St. Andrew's Methodist church. And where is it exactly? I'm like the

[00:01:10] Arthur Jones: Plano,

[00:01:11] Geoff Holsclaw: Plano. It is Plano. Okay. Got it. And we're also

[00:01:14] Arthur Jones: of Dallas.

[00:01:15] Geoff Holsclaw: just north of Dallas. All right, excellent. And then Doug Reed is also. Here as the executive director of beacon of light, which was launched out of St.

Andrews. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

[00:01:26] Doug Reed: Yeah, thank you, Geoff. Our pleasure.

[00:01:29] Geoff Holsclaw: Yeah. I met Arthur a couple months ago now just outside of Baltimore at a kind of a new church connection networking event. And we were just like, started talking. We're like, Oh, like we have some of the similar passions and interests.

How can the, you know, and I think Doug, you were started stealing this. How can. Brain science and Bible study mutually reinforce one another rather than being opposed. And maybe we'll get into why sometimes they are opposed. Doug, could you start off by just saying what beacon of light is and then we'll get into the history of where it came from.

[00:02:00] Doug Reed: Yeah, no, absolutely. And thank you again, Geoff, for having us. It's really our opinion that churches around the country on the front lines of mental health. And as you shared in your introduction, we had some challenges in our church community. And thanks to the vision from Arthur and our senior pastor at the time, Robert Hashley, the thought was we can no longer be on our heels.

We have to take the offensive. Our community needs more from us than they're certainly receiving at the time to provide that hope that healing for mental health. And as we got into beacon of light and what were the needs here at ST Andrew, we thought, My goodness, we're pretty sophisticated church community.

If we're struggling with this, certainly other churches around the country. have the same struggles. What can we do to learn from our experiences here on site and, channel Christ's healing power to help other churches around the country to better equip them to deal with the mental health challenges of their communities quite simply.

And that's where we are right now. We still learn from our work on the ground, but what's really exciting is to think about the other churches with which we've had conversations, learn about their needs, and then really through divine inspiration, taking this to as many churches as we can.

[00:03:18] Geoff Holsclaw: Oh, that's great. I'll, Kick it down to you Arthur where did this kind of, if you can give the backstory, where did this kind of come from for you guys, there was like a felt need or felt need isn't quite right as a felt tragedy, a kind of collective tragedy that kind of propelled you forward into this.

[00:03:34] Arthur Jones: As pastors, it's been a huge part of our experience. The seminary did not train us to actually pastor. Trained us to preach. Actually, there's whole classes on that. And there are some classes on congregational care, but not at the level of crisis and the level of training that's actually necessary for today.

I remember I was actually New on staff here almost 14 years ago And we had someone come in for whom they were in a crisis moment and they were Actually the he thought that the devil was telling him to kill his little kids and he brought his little kids to the church praise god instead of following through on that but here I am what two years out of seminary.

I went to a great seminary It does not train you for what to do. Fortunately our church has had a long standing belief that the bible and professional mental health they're not opposed. So we had someone connected here who came and helped us But through a series of events frankly for a very long time It became a huge Need a huge issue to Struggle with how do we actually train other people in this?

How do we train volunteers? It didn't even go to seminary and then in the fall of 2019 and then in January of 2020 I officiated and then my founding pastor for whom I was his successor both officiated the funeral of a young person who died by suicide And the one that I officiated was a 16 year old boy who had been on a ski trip that I had been on and, he wasn't too active in our church.

He was on the periphery of it. But that night there were 600 people in our sanctuary under the age of 18 weeping in our sanctuary. And I remember looking up at Robert, my founding pastor going, what do I do? And he looks at me and says, I have no idea, but we got to figure this out. And then just a few months later another young person from he had baptized in our church died by suicide.

And He and I sat together right when COVID hit in March and said this is going to be the worst possible thing.

What kind of training should we have? What should that look like? How do we navigate this differently? And so we decided to do two things. One is to create the best practices within St. Andrew.

What would it look like for our church to actually be mental health prepared? We're prepared for all sorts of things. Sexual predators, financial predators. We're a sophisticated church as most churches have had to become. And we looked around and realized no one was preparing our churches for the mental health catastrophe that was taking place during COVID.

And that epidemic continues to rage. And we decided we need to be best practices. And then what if we took those learnings and helped train other churches in how to do it? So when Doug came on board and we hired him I, I think if we had just been doing it for St. Andrew, he wouldn't come on staff, but he realized that our goal was to reach 10, 000 churches or something.

And he said, all right, that's a goal big enough for me to jump on board. Let's see if we can change the world.

[00:06:35] Geoff Holsclaw: Oh, that's great. And just to Like this isn't, I think everybody knows this by now. But this isn't something unique to your church, unfortunately the mental health crisis, the especially within Gen Z and then Gen Alpha, the suicide self harm statistics are just skyrocketing. People like Jonathan Hyatt and others, are looking at that.

What are the causes? But so looking at the causes is one thing, but like taking, being prepared is another thing too. So how do we do

[00:07:02] Arthur Jones: I want to add to that though before we continue I want to add because I think a lot of times especially pastors of churches that don't have a lot of young people I mean if you look statistically you've got a lot of churches that are smaller churches where the average age is, north of 60 There are a lot of people for whom they think that this is a young person issue And I just actually want to double down that's not been our experience doug Would you just talk for a second about kind of the older adult ministry and how much that's been our surprise in our on the ground learning on this front

[00:07:31] Doug Reed: Yeah, Arthur's absolutely right, Geoff. And I'll think back to August of, I guess it was last year and we had set an opportunity up outside of Sunday services to really educate our community about what beacon of light was all about. And I had a lady probably in her late sixties, a new member.

And she said, listen, I need to talk to somebody. Yeah. My husband has recently retired. I'm afraid that he is depressed. He's lost his self, his sense of self worth, and I'm very concerned about him. And it surprised us a little bit. But as we really leaned in to the challenges in front of us, especially around the holidays, when kiddos were coming home to see their parents for the first time in a while, I said, Hey, Mom, what's wrong with Dad?

Something's not right here. It just it built upon itself. And now we have, four therapists that we keep very busy on site in a partnership with a group called the Center for Integrative Psychology. And I would say, don't know this, my guess is 10 to 15 percent of our caseload would be in adults over the age of 60.

So thank you for bringing that up, Arthur. But it, we've heard this before, Geoff, with, let's say in addiction services, that addiction knows no boundaries. And that's certainly the case with broader mental health issues, too, because one is rich or poor, black or white, young or old. Mental health challenges are really prevalent throughout our community.

[00:08:57] Geoff Holsclaw: so true. Yeah. Thank you for being sure that we remember that it's hitting all generations. It's not just like those, those young people who don't know how to deal with life, it's all of us. So on this journey, then. As you were feeling God was leading you to be proactive, to go on the offensive, in a sense.

What were some of these practices of preparation, what are some of these like practices that you learned or developed or kind of, discovered for yourselves on this journey?

[00:09:25] Doug Reed: I think, one of our first challenges, Geoff, was to look at some of the misconceptions about mental health. Do I worry too much or do I have? Anxiety. Am I depressed periodically? Do I suffer from clinical depression? Do I not worship enough? Is that why I'm struggling with these mental health issues?

So and that continues to be a huge issue. And if there was a silver lining from the pandemic, it has been an elevated conversation about mental health challenges. We see now in celebrities, we see it in athletes that will talk openly. about their mental health challenges to the extent that some will take themselves out of competition so that they can provide for more self care.

So I think on the whole, I think that's a good thing. So that was really one of the first opportunities we had was to really try and educate and demystify. And then second is to make mental health services accessible to people. There are a couple of barriers. One is the stigma. We were quick to we'll share our cholesterol numbers with our friends at Sunday school.

But do we talk about our anxiety meds were on? No, we don't. So part of that is trying to demystify that. And, think not in terms of mental illness, so to say, but it's a health issue. And, it affects our physical health. The more that we can't really control our our mental health. So some of it was really the ground game.

Just trying to get the basics out there. We want to make sure that cost is not a barrier for people. There are those who say I can't afford therapy. And as you talk to individuals, it's trying to help them understand what cost is too much to make sure that you can maximize your well being and your mental health.

And really try and get those are the kind of the first issues, I think, in order for us to extend that conversation and elevate that conversation. And again, as we learn here, we want to take this to other churches, too. And as Arthur and I, and let me just say, Arthur has been an amazing partner in this, and it's hard.

to have a mental health practice if you don't have the support of your pastoral staff. So that's one of the learnings that we're gonna share with other churches. But I've sat beside other pastors and I said we've got a we've got a mental health practice. It's we refer to a or we refer to therapists in the community.

And, that's better. That's better than nothing. But when you have that conversation about why not take a bolder approach to it? I said mental heads. It's messy. I'm not, I'm not sure if our congregations ready for that. It's it's a long game that we have to play.

No doubt.

[00:12:04] Geoff Holsclaw: Sure. For sure. Arthur, are there other kind of misconceptions or obstacles that you've seen as you've may, it sounds like not so much internal of your church, but as you share this vision with other pastors or other people, what do you see as the points of resistance that maybe you run into?

[00:12:18] Arthur Jones: The number one point of resistance for me is actually not within my congregation, but within other churches for whom they have not yet had a tragedy that is almost certainly across the horizon. So honestly Within St. Andrew, we've had no one push back and say, you shouldn't care about mental health.

All it takes is one or two stories, and we emphasize the students and one of our trained students recognized another kid on his baseball team and probably saved another kid's life and a whole family from a lot of pain because of the training that Doug and his team has done. Man, you tell that story once, your congregation's man, what else can we do?

So the challenge truly isn't, I think, and I think due to COVID, that people don't want to do something particularly if the pastor is bold enough to say it and admit that they sometimes struggle with it. The challenge is that this is a important but not an urgent matter for most churches until it becomes a crisis. Everyone that I've talked to in the pastoral world tells me, Oh man, we need to do something for that. I really, and I'm glad y'all are doing that. I think we need it. I think it's important. I think we value it. Man, we should do something about that. But mental health is not a 9 a. m. on Monday morning kind of framework for a pastor like their financials are, or like their children's ministry, or their sermon the next Sunday.

Until the moment happens, which is exactly what happened to us, Where we had two crises back to back and we barely got up from one before the other one hit And we went man, let's never do that again And so it became a crisis issue for us and I think there are a lot of pastors that honestly their strategy is a Is a hope that maybe this won't happen to me, but with the epidemic that happens here, it's going to happen at some point to every community, and I'd rather be proactive and help train people on that front.

So I think from my lens, that's the issue. Maybe my congregation's more, our congregation, Doug, is more open to mental health conversations. And I think there are pastors that have made that a negative piece. But that's not my issue, my understanding typically. My understanding typically is this is a crisis that is waiting around the corner unless you get your act together in a church.

[00:14:40] Geoff Holsclaw: Yeah. For sure.

[00:14:42] Doug Reed: And Geoff and full disclosure one of those incidents, unfortunately was our daughter. She took her own life. So we We went on this journey with Arthur and with Robert at the time, and that put a particular, um, sense of urgency on the issue. And I think being vulnerable in front of others has helped us gain some traction.

But we don't want other churches to go through that. We really like to get out in front of it. And the more authentic that we can be and the more transparent we can be. about how important one's faith is to addressing mental health. And I'd like to think it's our secret sauce too. One can go to a therapist, they can find a therapist anywhere.

And there's some awesome therapists out there, but I happen to think, and I know Arthur does as well, and I'm sure you do Geoff, that when combined with a strong, authentic faith, a rigorous faith practice, I think it does assist us all in managing our own mental health.

[00:15:45] Geoff Holsclaw: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. So how does that balance work then for you guys, whether it's in Beacon of Light or in St. Andrews, because sometimes you can get an, I wrote down that you're working with the Center for Integrated Psychology. I'm assuming the integration is spiritual integration.

Is that right? And because sometimes it feels like those can just be two different worlds and let those professionals, let the mental health professionals do the mental health thing, let the spiritual professionals do the spiritual thing. Let's not. Let's not mix these things. Let's not cross competencies or something like that.

How would you how have you been able to kind of balance that? Cause some mental health issues are spiritual issues. But then sometimes, they're not or how do you go about that?

[00:16:25] Doug Reed: Yeah, that's a great question. Geoff, and I think a lot of that depends upon the individual too. I will tell you that what's really special about our clinical team is one, they're all Christians, and two, they are all licensed with the state of Texas. So they are fully capable of leveraging God's word with that individual as needed, but.

In many cases, the individuals that come to our teams for help, they are extremely comfortable. The fact that their therapist is a Christian, but that does not mean that it's a scriptural conversation. So just having that those common values, I think are as important as important as as anything.

And really for us too, as we talk with our church community I think it's openly embraced how important the two are and how they work together.

[00:17:19] Arthur Jones: I think that's really why you and I connected, Geoff, was because that the separation of that, I don't think it's worked well for the church. I don't think it's worked well for the clinical side either. Like I, I think anyone who is on the clinical side and ignores the spiritual nature of humans, that's a failure.

That's a miss. That's something that. Frankly, we are not designed as humans to separate our bodies from our souls. Cause that's not actually the way we were made. And I think it has not done a good job for our counseling and our actual psychology in the world. I also think the church rejecting best practices of the secular world is just cutting off our nose to spite our face.

I just think it's pointless. We wouldn't do that with our financial accounting. Why would we do it with our spiritual accounting and our own minds in that process? For me, We went through a difficult time in our church a couple of years ago we lost our founding past at the same time we became an independent Methodist church and that was a challenging season.

I had a few anxiety attacks in that process. There are some Clinical tips and framings that can actually change how you think about anxiety thoughts that are connected to anxiety that, I prayed a lot, but I needed actually, it's a C. S. Lewis and one of his books actually describes how the only way to win against the devil is to ignore him and that you've got to find a way to actually take these, like these difficult moments of anxiety or difficulty or whatever.

And. Use the best practices available because there are breathing techniques. There are strategies That if you don't do it, you're just handicapping yourself for no apparent reason and god gave us a brain to figure out how he gave us our brain and how it works and that's just Anyway, that's one of my soap boxes.

We just got on so I it drives me nuts when people in the church decide We're not going to deal with anything secular because it might be evil when actually it's just using their brains to figure out how God made us and God made us for good and how we help leverage that. So that's in general, I think why we connected on that was your lens of leveraging neuroscience.

There's just so much low hanging fruit out there that the church has just ignored when you've got neuroscientists preaching basic truths of the gospel and not realizing that's what they're doing because they're because they're not Christian. And they don't understand that Jesus preached what they're teaching.

And anyway, that's my

[00:19:44] Geoff Holsclaw: We're all, yeah, we're all in agreement here, but I know I saw people posting about, really big, famous Southern California pastor who is saying that, ADHD and anxiety and OCD are all, myths and that they're not real, so unfortunately there's a lot of things there.

I come from a more like charismatic tradition and I like the balance, that some of our leaders would say, If you're encountering somebody who's, manifesting, demonic possession, then you can feel free to cast out that demon. But you should probably also figure out if they've gone off their bipolar meds, like you can do both things.

And and I take that to heart. Like we can pray for people's healing. And. Memorizing scriptures is important. But then also whether it's self care practices, whether it's emotional regulation, practices, breathing, or whether when needed medication, like those things are all perfectly reasonable, right?

[00:20:36] Arthur Jones: I really, it drives me nuts when I hear people put it all in one box. And I think so much we need to understand what pastors are called to do. And what counselors are called to do. They're different things. And I've actually stopped much of my premarital counseling because I'm a pastor and a shepherd more than I am a counselor.

So I have meetings with people to talk about what the Bible says about marriage, what the Bible says about a godly marriage, but that's different than sitting down with a couple and working through their early childhood issues related to their families of origin. I wouldn't trained in that a an actual


[00:21:09] Arthur Jones: And so When I stay in my lane and I realize what i'm good at what I was made for what my calling is Which is to bring the word of god to life and people.

That's my job. That's what i'm gifted for That's what I went to seminary for Not the rest of this. And so I've actually framed, it used to be in the Methodist church, cause that's my background. It used to be that we pastors thought we were, counselors and pastors and had all that stuff.

And we actually thought that we were better than we were. And that there's some counseling I got that wasn't actual counseling. It was just a pastor, not quite understanding what they were trained for and what they weren't. And I just want to tell that pastor from Southern California, Come on, just, you don't know all things.

God did not reveal all things to you. Your job is to reveal what God has revealed to your people. That's your calling. And I just want to say, stay in your lane.

[00:22:02] Geoff Holsclaw: Yeah. So what about this training that you guys have been preparing that you're, I think you're in the midst of like beta testing it with some churches. What, could you talk a little bit about what this training is, what your hope is, you're hoping to

[00:22:14] Doug Reed: Yeah, absolutely, Geoff. So we're working with a Canadian firm called Neovation, and the idea is to really combine, as we've been talking about, the best and evidence based practices with, spiritual authenticity to train lay leaders and pastoral staff to on one how to get more comfortable with mental health issues, how to identify mental health issues and what should one do?

And Arthur, I think you're aware of this, but last Thursday we had a gentleman show up in our Northex Thursday afternoon. who we concerned, we were concerned he was suicidal. He was not a church member. He saw that steeple down the road. He was in distress. Where do I go? And we want to make sure that those churches that really want to help people, that they have the tools with which that they can do and we try to make the the trainings accessible. That is, they're not too long. They're not too short. They provide the right amount of clinical depth, the right amount of spiritual depth to really empower lay and pastoral leaders to help individuals in their communities not to be confused with.

We're not trying to create mental health professionals, but we want to make sure that folks have got the right tools so that they can you know, make that assessment and help hand that off to that mental health professional when the need there. Or it could be quite a simple as, working with your volunteer base in advance of mission trips church events, ski trips.

I'm glad that I'm in the mid sixties and not a team these days with the challenges that they deal with. I want to make sure that we do everything we can to help train people so that they can identify what some of the challenges that folks are dealing with in our community. And I think the last several years has really put a fine point on that too.

[00:24:08] Geoff Holsclaw: It sounds responders, like mental holistic health, first responders, because the truth is people, people talk about the decline of the influence of the church tenants going down, but it seems, study seems, To show as the story illustrated that people still go to a church or a pastor or a lay leader with mental health issues before they ever go to a mental health professional.

So whether we like it or not, the church is the front door. It is the first responder kind of situation. So you guys are trying to train us for that.

[00:24:37] Arthur Jones: you don't get to choose who they run into. This particular individual ran into our Director of Generosity, and then walked right into our Receptionist. This means that your Director of Generosity, or your Receptionist, or your Volunteer, They all need to be trained in this because you don't get to choose when someone who's not a church member walks in They don't sit there and look around to see who has mental health or pastoral care or pastor on their name badge They find a human who they associate with the church and with christ and they say i'll bet you they can help me And so you like you got to imagine that the list of who needs to be trained in this is far broader than the church Has ever thought about it

[00:25:17] Geoff Holsclaw: then what are a couple of the topics or kind of like the key kind of things that you're just hoping to address to help people think about through this training? 

[00:25:25] Doug Reed: There, there are a couple of basics to really do some level setting Geoff. And one is mental health in the church, really discussing what we've been talking about for the last 20 minutes to try and help everyone understand that the church does have an obligation and an opportunity to help their communities.

We then expand it there to some really hands on skills and training de escalation. Yeah. When someone presents on a Sunday morning, they seem to be in distress. What is one do? Many would call 911. We think that it that may be necessary, but there are other some solutions as well to help that individual.

Suicide awareness, suicide intervention. That's something that the church is not immune from. As we've talked about, what can we do to train our lay leaders and our periscope pastoral staff to deal with that? on the front end. And then, unfortunately, how do we deal with that? Should have should that occur in our communities?

Arthur created a great example of a young man who I believe we saved his life. But we did so through a program called Hope Squad, where we trained high school members of our church to really be the eyes and ears of their peer groups so that they could have an impact. That's a part of it as well.

We will get into, you anxiety, depression, bipolar bipolar substance abuse disorders to really help people understand and demystify on what some of the issues are. Boundaries. That's important for everybody. For me, that's important to have the right boundaries so I can protect my own mental health and so I can be the, best husband, father, employee that I can be.

So there are a number of issues, but what we want to do is make these accessible for everybody. Easy to digest interesting, and one that we think goes beyond just that initial training interaction. We're not looking to market a product, we're really looking to develop these relational experiences with those churches that need to address their mental health challenges.

[00:27:26] Geoff Holsclaw: That's great. So how do I got one more question for Arthur, but how do people connect with that? Is that training available? Is it in process? How could people be on the, the first to get it when it's ready?

[00:27:37] Doug Reed: Yeah, it'll be available very soon. We've got our first three classes, our first three modules that we have in final beta production. And then this summer we're going to be developing our next tranche of classes too. So I would say Geoff, any of your listeners who want to become a part of the test, we'd love to get their experiences and have them take a look at this.

And if they could, it can reach out to me at Doug at beacon of light, mh. org. And we would be glad to work with them.

[00:28:07] Geoff Holsclaw: If they, if people signed up for your newsletter, would they get the info for that when it launches?

[00:28:12] Doug Reed: Yes,

[00:28:13] Geoff Holsclaw: All right. So I'll have that in the show notes that speaking of light mh. org slash newsletter. I'll throw that in the show notes. So if you're interested in the possible training for that and learning when that comes out.

So Arthur, last question then what kind of encouragements would you give to other Senior leaders whether it's a lead pastors or leaders in different groups, how would you encourage them to take next steps to cast a vision for for this? Or give us the don'ts. You can give us the negative.

Don't do this. Don't do that.

[00:28:42] Arthur Jones: Don't do nothing,

[00:28:44] Geoff Holsclaw: don't do nothing. All right.

[00:28:45] Arthur Jones: Don't do nothing. Don't just sit there and hope it doesn't happen at your church. I think that we proved that was a bad framework on sexual ethics over the last 40 years in the church. I think it's just as bad to do nothing in the mental health area as well.

Mostly I think it's about be bold and courageous with your own life. Tell your own story. Don't pretend to be someone other than you aren't. And, the congregation, when I became a pastor here at the church when I admitted my failures and my weaknesses. And I think when I hear about other pastors going off on other things like meds or psychology or counseling but for the grace of God, go I you and I, no pastor is immune or better than it.

And no pastoral family is immune or better than it. And so naming that we are with others trying to help be who God has made us to be, I think leading boldly with who God made us and then and then reach out to Doug and get connected to some system that allows you to do it better. I, I think finding people who you can leverage so that you're not alone in your journey.

If and when this happens to you, I don't want anyone else to be where I was the night that my sanctuary was full of 500 kids. And I looked at another pastor and said, I have no idea what to do.

[00:29:58] Doug Reed: Mhm.

[00:29:59] Arthur Jones: And I just don't want anyone else to be like that again.

[00:30:03] Geoff Holsclaw: Yeah. That's why, so the telling your story is why I wanted to have you guys on today. And I think that same encouragement for kind of all leaders and pastors is, share your story of your ups and downs of mental health as well as lead from weakness. So that people know, Oh, I can talk about that.

Here I can talk about these things with my church leaders. When you hear senior leaders preaching about their therapy sessions or their struggles with depressions and their seasons of darkness and their other relatives, or even their children's struggles then you make it welcome to have that weakness, where that Jesus meets us in where the power of God could then minister to in the midst of that weakness.

And Thank you for sharing these things and I'll be sure to get all these things in the show notes. Any last thoughts or words that either of you have that you want to be sure to shout out with?

[00:30:54] Doug Reed: I just want to say thanks again, Geoff. And, I think we're all here for the same reason. That's to elevate the conversation about mental health and what we can each do working through working through Christ to, address the issues.

[00:31:07] Geoff Holsclaw: Amen. Arthur, what were you about to say?

[00:31:09] Arthur Jones: Same thing. Thank you for it. I was glad to find you. There aren't many of us trying to fit this area. And I hope there are more. And if you get, if that's you listening to it, reach out to us as well, because we'd love to continue the community. And I'm excited Geoff back getting to stay connected with you and

[00:31:25] Geoff Holsclaw: Yeah. Yeah. Let's for sure stay connected. Thanks so much for being on. And for all of you listeners please share this with with people, get signed up on the newsletter. And we'll keep chipping away at this and let's be sure to do something, let's not do nothing.


[00:31:39] Doug Reed: Amen. Thank you.