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Pastoral Resources About Chronic Illness and Pain, Dealing with Depression and More

It's not easy being a pastor and trying to counsel the sick who need both hope and care for their body and spirit. We understand that there are a lot of people in your congregation with special needs and that you don't have the time to be able to counsel and encourage everyone as often as you would like.

Through our web site you can find resources and ministries to help one who is living with a chronic illness, as well as resources for yourself that may help your understanding of what a chronically ill person may experience.

What if you are the one coping with illness or depression?

> read more

Questions you may have
Facts you should know
Resources
Articles of interest
Ministries
READ THIS! 6 Ways Your Church Can Effectively Minister to the Chronically Ill
Join our Network for Those in Illness-Healthcare-Disability-Caregiver Ministry
Facebook for Pastors - Free e-book

 

 

The questions abound. In a simple search on the internet we found people asking a variety of questions from "Why did Jesus heal the paralyzed man but He won't heal me?" to "How to heal candida in the blood?" to "Will Jesus heal cystic acne?" it seems regardless of your affliction, many people do seek healing.

When it doesn't come there are even more questions. Too often, however, even pastors don't always know how to answer the "whys?"

And what happens when people want to minister to others but they have not yet been healed? Believe it or not, a lot of people come to us and say their pastor has told them, "Why don't you focus on your healing first, and if you are healed, then you can start a HopeKeepers ministry."

They are broken-hearted and confused. If they feel God is calling them to share in the sufferings of others, do they really need to wait until they are healed before offering that comfort to others?


Please Tell Other Pastors About the Resources They Can Find @ RM

Please feel free to share any information with the people that you visit who live with chronic illness or physical pain who would like encouraged. You've probably noticed that there are very few resources that are easy to find at your local Christian bookstore that discuss the "daily-ness" of living with physical pain. Pastoral care of the sick is one of the most vital areas your understanding and empathy will mean the most.

We hope that we can assist you in meeting some of the emotional and spiritual outreach that you desire to do.

Questions You May Have About Us Things Pastors Should Know
There aren't that many chronically ill people in my church, right?
What do you believe?
Who are you affiliated with?
How much does a HopeKeepers group cost?
Why do we need a HopeKeepers ministry?
Who should run our group?
Where do I start?

Illness is not a condition of just the elderly. Illness is extremely difficult to live with. Those who are Christians still feel alone, misunderstood and hurt by the reactions or lack of acknowledge of those they love, especially people in the church body.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 people have an illness; 96% of illnesses are invisible. 75% of marriages with illness end in divorce;
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person;
  • Various studies have reported that physical illness or uncontrollable physical pain are major factors in up to 70% of suicides; and more than 50% of these suicidal patients were under 35 years of age.
  • However, the significance of one's faith has shown to lower one's risk of depressive symptoms and aid one in better handling a stressful medical event. *Sources
There aren't that many chronically ill people in my church, right? According to the Chronic Care in American study nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA live with chronic illness or long-term pain.

How much does a HopeKeepers group cost? Our web site has a lot of free materials. You a buy a HopeKeepers Start Up Kit to completely provide your HopeKeepers leader with a tool chest of items to prepare with and use in handling not only those tough small group personal questions, but the difficult ones about "Why am I not healed yet?" It is $295 or items can be purchased separately.

Why do we need a HopeKeepers ministry?
  • Nearly 1 in 2 people have an illness; 96% of illnesses are invisible. 75% of marriages with illness end in divorce;
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person;
  • Various studies have reported that physical illness or uncontrollable physical pain are major factors in up to 70% of suicides; and more than 50% of these suicidal patients were under 35 years of age.
  • However, the significance of one's faith has shown to lower one's risk of depressive symptoms and aid one in better handling a stressful medical event. * Sources

Illness is not a condition of just the elderly. Illness is extremely difficult to live with. Those who are Christians still feel alone, misunderstood and hurt by the reactions or lack of acknowledge of those they love, especially people in the church body.


Who should run our group? Rest Ministries only requirement of HopeKeepers groups is that someone reside in some form of leadership that lives with illness. We want to make sure those who are ill can sill use their gifts, as well as keep the content authentic.
Where do I start? Discover who may have this calling and present HopeKeepers to them. If someone is coming to you with the idea, be open-minded, listen, empathetic, and see how God can use one's pain to design their ministry. One doesn't have to be healed in order to serve the Lord.
Are you a pastor coping with illness or depression?
 
"According to Focus on the Family, 80 percent of pastors and 84 percent of their spouses are discouraged or are dealing with depression."

Gary Kinnaman, co-author of Seeing in the Dark

What is pastoral leadership and practice? In our opinion it's being able to admit when you are experiencing that "dark night of the soul."

Despite intellectually understandings it a part of your journey in ministry, it's hard to be in a position of leadership and feel like you are coping with an understanding of why you have an illness or are dealing with depression. Here are some resources we recommend, but we also encourage you to seek out a Christian counselor that specializes in counseling pastors.

The Parsonage
The listing of organizations provided by Focus on the Family offer specific ministries and programs for pastors and their families, and may provide any encouragement, renewal or restoration you might need.
90 Minutes in Heaven (book) Author Don Piper is a pastor in a lot of physical pain, as well as spiritual questions about his death and heaven experience -- and he let's it all out, the questions, the ugly feelings, and the emotions of it all. Truly authentic!
Seeing in the Dark: Getting the Facts on Depression & Finding Hope Again An amazon reviewer says, "Authored by a pastor with depression and a medical doctor whose wife suffers from depression, along with a foreword by Dr. John Trent, it is quite possibly the definitive Christian book about depression."
Dr. Jacobs speaking on the subject of depression. (Click on Seeing in the Dark conference audio.)

Take a pastoral sabbatical. See What’s Love Got To Do With Sabbaticals? by churchsolutions.com

A ‘depressed pastor’ is not an oxymoron by pastors.com
Link Care Center
PastorsNet's CareGiver Directory is provided by The INJOY Group and is intended for use by members of the clergy and their families. All information contained in this Directory, including the descriptions of the ministries and/or services of the listed organizations, is provided by the respective organization.

 

Resources Pastors Should Have on Their Desks
Pastoral Articles of Interest
Books of Interest to Pastors on Illness / Disability / Depression, etc.

Pastor Ministries of Interest
Facebook for Pastors

Learn how to build relationships and connect with people using the most popular social network on the Internet. This 31 page e-book will help pastors and other ministry leaders make the most of this great networking tool.

  • How to make the most of your profile information
  • Tips for Networking with People in Facebook
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  • Learn more about the members in your church
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  • Testimonies from Pastors who use Facebook
    and much more!
  • Get the e-book here free

 

Download here

Chris Forbes is the founder of Ministry Marketing Coach. He speaks and writes on the subjects of ministry marketing, faith-based nonprofit marketing, social marketing, and Guerrilla Marketing for nonprofits.
 




Many of our programs are "Sunroom Enhanced" meaning you can find additional social network communities in the Sunroom, as well as the regular program itself. For example there is an email men's group and also men's groups in the Sunroom for additional interaction.