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Pastors’ Gathering Discusses Mental Illness in the Church

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—“Responding to Mental Illness in the Church” was the topic of the recent Breakpoint monthly pastors’ gathering of the Grand Rapids Association of Regular Baptist Churches. The featured speaker was Dr. Dan Schellenberg, who serves on the staff of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and is a member of Forest Hills Baptist Church, both located in Grand Rapids. Alpine Baptist Church in Comstock Park hosted the lunchtime gathering Jan. 23.

Much of the session was devoted to a discussion of Christians’ typical questions regarding mental illness. Schellenberg encouraged the pastors to increase their understanding of mental health issues, since those issues deal with both the faith and practice of churches. The best counseling, he says, has at its base a robust Christian anthropology. “If you do not have the right structure at the base, the rest of the structure will be wrong,” he says. Schellenberg concluded the session by sharing that “it is important that pastors and counselors work together as professionals.”