An invitation to our readers to brainstorm about God’s purposes in mental illness

I’m working on a project over the next week or two and I’d like to extend an invitation to our readers to lend your ideas and input.

I’ve been invited to teach during the Sunday morning worship services on October 21st at Fredericktown United Methodist Church in Fredericktown, Ohio. A group of leaders at the church have been working through our ministry’s book on mental health inclusion as part of their strategy to better serve persons with disabilities. I’m planning to tie together their study by addressing the topic – Discovering God’s Purposes in Mental Illness. I’m planning to start by using John 9:1-3 as Scripture text and supplementing with other references.

What teaching or reading have you come across that’s been helpful to you in better understanding the topic? Are there sermons or blog posts that have been particularly impactful that you’d like to share? If you’re an individual with mental illness, or a parent or spouse of someone with mental illness, what do you think the people of the church need to hear on this subject?

Please post your ideas, links and references in the comments section below so that all of our readers might benefit.

I’m planning to share my teaching on the blog as an extended post on the evening of the 21st. Fredericktown is approximately 50 miles northeast of Columbus. I’d be delighted to see you in person.

Are you a pastor or ministry leader searching for resources to better understand how to support children, adults or families affected by mental illness in your church or in your community? Check out Key Ministry’s Mental Health Resources page, containing links to video, articles and topical blog series designed to help you minister with persons with common mental health conditions. Also available through the website are a free, downloadable mental health ministry planning tool designed to accompany Mental Health and the Church, along with links to recommended books, like-minded mental health ministry organizations, relevant research, sermons addressing mental illness, social media resources and a compilation of stories from families affected by mental illness.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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3 Responses to An invitation to our readers to brainstorm about God’s purposes in mental illness

  1. Sharon David McCart says:

    Does God have a purpose for every illness? When you get a bad cold, do you think God gave you that cold for a reason? That’s not how I think, so I don’t know how to answer your question. The phrasing does not fit with Wesleyan theology. God brings good out of every circumstance, but God does not create bad circumstances. “Who of us would give a child a stone when his mouth cries out for bread?”
    Sharon McCart, Chair, DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church


  2. C. Allman says:

    I am a Christian mental health counselor. One job we professionals need to do is to help demystify mental illness among people in churches. With current brain research and understanding of the brain-body connection becoming mainstream in therapy, this information is helpful in explaining how mental illness may arise. However we can “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,” (Pr. 8) in church, we need to. I am so appreciative of your calling and ministry. I have shared your emails and websites with numerous church leaders in our community, and will continue to do so.


  3. Heather L says:

    I am the parent of a child with a severe mental illness and I’m a special needs ministry leader. I will tell you that God has used my child’s mental illness to refine my character and develop the fruit of the spirit in me. Being my daughter’s parent has prepared me for working with other children with special needs.


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