I have been reading a book titled Mental Health Case Management: A Practical Guide. It is a textbook for one of my classes in the Counseling program that I am completing this Spring.
I have come to understand that we, as professional Pastors and Ministers, who work with people, should know some of the language when dealing with parishioners who are struggling with mental health symptoms. At least know enough to be able to recognize symptoms and make a referral to an appropriate medical doctor. Prayer is important, especially when a member is requesting prayer. Prayer is also important as you pray for your members in your private prayer time. The ability to recognize symptoms, to be able to dialogue in a caring way with empathy, and to make referrals is just as important. It is called caring for the whole person.
I had an interesting experience many years ago. It involved a soldier on mental health medication. We were deployed and he ran out of his medication. His symptoms as well as suicidal ideations began to show in his life. I was asked to intervene and from that intervention I was able to relay to the soldier’s leadership what was going on. They were then able to make an informed decision for the safety of the soldier and his peers.
Likewise, I know it is daunting to work with people in the congregation who suffer from a mental health diagnosis. I learned to share good resources as a minister, a chaplain, and soon to be a licensed counselor (summer of 2019, I have to pass certain tests).
I encourage you to look at the following website as a resource
I can imagine larger churches having the resources to implement suggestions made by the attached resource. I believe that smaller churches can also make a positive impact on those members who are suffering a mental health diagnosis. Smaller church leadership can meet and establish relationships with resources in the community. Resources such as Licensed Counselors, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Medical Doctors, etc. I know, some of you will want to connect with resources that share some of your values. The point is to get to know the resources, the people that can help you help your members. It would be to your creditability to learn some of the language so you can be part of the solution for your members.
© Dan Kinjorski, 2019
There are ministers, pastors, who often talk or write about the “supernatural” from the pulpit or use it in other platforms, e.g., their books, Facebook. Why? Is the word, “supernatural” a word found in the bible? No, it isn’t. The first use of the word, according to etymonline.com, was in early 15thcentury. It refers to something unexplainable—above nature. It often refers to ghosts, monsters, etc.
There is a television show that is called Supernatural, about two brothers who hunt down monsters, demons; supernatural creatures. My point is that Hollywood or the pop culture often has an impact on our words. Our words, as ministers, pastors, or Christians, should reflect that of our beliefs, which would hopefully come from our spiritual literature-the bible.
Should we, as ministers of the Word, allow Hollywood or the pop culture to influence our speech or beliefs? I don’t think so. Supernatural sounds more exciting, it sounds more relevant compared to what may seem boring. What is more real, authentic? The fantasy of the word, “supernatural?” What is the correct word to use if “supernatural” should not be part of our professional language?
The appropriate word that we should use as professionals is the word, “spiritual.” It may sound more boring than the word, “supernatural.” However, the word is more realistic coming from the pulpit or from words on paper; a book. After all, are in the spiritual business of ministry, pastoring.
Paul uses the word, “spiritual” many times, as well as other writers. Peter uses the word in the encouragement to crave pure “spiritual” milk which, figuratively, is the Word of God, (1 Peter 2:2). He also states that “[we] are being built into a ‘spiritual’ house to be a Holy priesthood,” (1 Peter 2:5).
The words we use, e.g., “supernatural” vs. “spiritual” is not a reason to dis-fellowship. We should be mindful of the words we use. Why? Because we represent the Word of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord. And how we look at the meaning of those words may impact how we conduct ministry. In fact, ministry is all about words; our preaching, our teaching, impacts lives.
We may have church members in our congregation that has mental health problems. Perhaps others may have an addiction. I know some pastors and ministers will call certain diseases or addictions a curse or blame it on demons; a spiritual being. The ideas "curse" or "having a demon" is not correct when it they refer to mental health issues. That comes from the idea of the word “supernatural.” Some Pastors and ministers are correct when they refer to issues of mental health and addiction as spiritual struggles. By the way, you don’t have to have mental health or addiction problems to experience a spiritual problem. You can be sick or experience some other problems in life and it can lead to spiritual problems.
Our calling in ministry, or even as laity, has spiritual meaning—not supernatural meaning. Again, the word “spiritual” is biblical. The word “supernatural” is not biblical. The word “supernatural” can be a marketing tool!
© Dan Kinjorski, 2019
Have you ever been so frustrated that you lose your cool; lose control? Perhaps you have been busy all day and want to rest when you arrive home. Perhaps you move directly into your home office to focus on school work and man's best friend wants attention. You just sat down to enjoy a moment of reflection. You have coffee in hand and here comes your poodle pinning for your attention.
Maybe just sat down to watch the newest episode of The Neighborhood and the little bugger wants something from you. You really wanted to rest a minute and your frustration shows. Is it obvious that I have a little dog that wants attention. A cute little dog that has been an answer to the empty nest syndrome.
Sometimes we are guilty of losing control and want to go put ourselves in the corner for a time-out. Why? Because we just lost self-control. It wasn’t right. Although nothing physically happened, just that we did make ourselves emotionally available to those around us. We did not give our friend, in my case, a little Schitzu-Poodle mix named Colby the attention he wants. Perhaps it is your wife, your son, your daughter, who needs attention-and we did not give it. Perhaps someone close to you would like to help you, you are busy--with your mind on a deep problem--and you lose control. You feel bad. I know the feeling.
Maybe you are driving down the road and the driver behind you passes and cuts you off. Your anger rises and you begin to mutter an unintelligible word, perhaps not so unintelligible, and your wife gives you the "eye" and the hair on the top of your head begins to rise from her stare. (Yes, their "stare" can be that powerful). I heard some say that our wife is the Holy Spirit in the flesh. I joke.
The above scenarios may have happened to me and I plead the fifth for the sake of church unity. Anyway, good examples of losing “your cool” and not being in control.
1 Peter encourages us to use self-control and then he speaks of being Holy. I think having self-control goes with being Holy. Being Holy is being set-apart--having a relationship with God. If a person lacks self-control, is that person Holy? A challenging, and reflective, question.
Now it is time for me to leave the corner-thanking God for forgiveness. See 1 John 1:9.
What does the Apostle Peter mean when he encourages his readers to be Holy? In this same letter, he also quotes from Leviticus 11:44, “Be Holy, even as I am Holy.” How does the idea of being holy relate to the message of 1 Peter?
The Apostle Peter encourages the reader to endure suffering. In verse 6, Peter refers to suffering, “for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” He then explains that the suffering proves our faith genuine and glorifies God. He reminds the reader of salvation and the prophets predicting the suffering of Christ. Then in a shift, he uses the word, “Therefore” to transition…
Peter transitions and basically describes what being Holy is…self-control, setting our Hope on the return of Christ, and not conforming ourselves to the evil desires that we had, as an ignorant child [not knowing salvation in Christ]. Christ is an example of self-control, did not conform to the image of this world. He was and is Holy.
Therefore, in your suffering…Be Holy, self-controlled, and set your Hope in Jesus. Why, because we are redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to us from our forefathers (verse 18). We are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, a lamb who was slaughtered for us, sacrificed, who expressed self-control during that period of suffering. Yet, he lives to give us victory over sin and death.
Peter will move into relationships and how to live with one another, in holiness, with love towards another.
In Chapter two, Peter speaks of not living as this world lives. “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babes, crave pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have [experienced] that the Lord is good” (verses 1-3). This is the way of holy living, holy relationships.
Pure spiritual milk refers, figuratively, to the word of God. The written word of God and the Word of God in the flesh (Jesus). It can also mean the basic doctrine of the word, that of salvation in Jesus. Know salvation, the message of salvation, without a doubt. The Word of God is important to us as believers. David, the Psalmist writes, “I hide thy word in my heart, that I may not sin against you.”
Peter then writes about the living stone, Jesus, the cornerstone of our faith. People who do not understand the basic doctrine of salvation in Christ are tripped up and stumble. BUT, we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation [people].
Then Peter moves into relationships and he does not leave the theme of being Holy. He states that we are to “live such good lives among the pagans that . . . they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” verse 2:12.
He then begins to specifically address different kinds of relationships. We are to respond to suffering by being Holy and we are to be Holy in our relationships.
Dan is in a second career, that of Counselor, but he is a pastor at heart. He desires to present the Word of God in its context and then challenge the reader in its application to our lives. It is the Word of God that brings revival to our souls. The psalmist writes, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Dan and Maribel Kinjorski
Dan and Maribel are Bible Teachers. They love to expound on the Word of God. Maribel has been involved in Church since an early age. A graduate of the University of San German, Puerto Rico, in Business Administration and Economy. Dan is a graduate of East Coast Bible College (now shuttered) and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (1999) , Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2019), and now working on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology: Counseling Education and Supervision.