Mental Illness, Prayer and Extravagant Grace

The following blog was written by friend of The Well Community, Catherine Downing, at the invitation of Amy Simpson (author of  Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission) and posted on Amy’s site October 2, 2017. It is written from the perspective of a family member of a loved one who lives with chronic mental health issues. Catherine describes one way her deep faith strengthens her in the journey. Continue reading

Seeing the Hand of God

Pastor Nita Allen and a member of The Well share a hug

“God created us all in his image, which is love. I think the problem we have in mental and social health is that we don’t believe we are loved or lovable,” says Pastor Nita Allen of Oak Cliff Christian Church. She adds that we often don’t realize that God loves us intimately and wants us to become like him. Those who’ve been abused or neglected—as is the case for many who live with mental illness—often believe that they’re unwanted because that’s the message they’ve received. Continue reading

Ready to Care: Resources to Help Churches Minister to those Struggling With Mental Illnesses

Faith communities are often the first places individuals and families turn to when faced with the challenges of mental illness, especially during a crisis. Churches have unique opportunities to minister, not only in times of acute struggle, but in the daily hurdles as well.

A 2018 LifeWay Research study found most pastors, family members and those living with acute mental illnesses agree that local churches have a responsibility to provide resources and support for these individuals and their families. But, knowing how to serve them in ways that truly bless them and affirm their value can be a challenge.

Thankfully, there are many resources that can help churches become more aware of mental illnesses and how to minister to those who struggle with these conditions. The following books and websites provide information and tools to help churches welcome those who deal with mental health challenges and provide practical assistance. Continue reading

The Two-Way Street

Pastor McDougal, center, with Well Member on left and Jeff Lane, Well Board Member on right.

When you think of a nonprofit organization or ministry outreach, usually the first thing that comes to mind is the help provided to the people who receive services. We also consider how volunteers impact the lives of those who benefit from the activities. We want to know how donor dollars make a difference for those in need. But what if we turn that around and ask, “How is the community influenced by the those who receive services? How does the work of the nonprofit make its neighbors better people?”

We took that approach recently when talking with Dr. Brent McDougal, senior pastor of Cliff Temple Baptist Church, where The Well Community has housed its Community Life Center for 17 years. We wanted to know, “How has The Well Community helped to make Cliff Temple the kind of church it is today?” Continue reading