Hope + Help for the Depressed Ministry Leader

podcast interview with Terry Powell
One of the reasons Paul didn't lose heart is he believed in Heaven. It didn't give him a reason to escape life, but a reason to keep serving through difficult times. He didn't lose heart because he knew his future was secure. A Christian with a heavenly mindset is more useful in this life—not less—because they have their eyes on the future. My pain, whether physical or emotional, is temporary—he sustained me for this many years, he can sustain me for a few more.
– Terry Powell
About the Episode
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/teacher Terry Powell on the subject of handling depression in ministry. Terry shares pieces of his life-long battle against depression with vulnerable humility, giving us a picture of God's sustaining grace for those involved in leadership positions. He offers thoughts about combatting negative self-talk, and answers the question, "Is depression a hinderance or a help to fruitful ministry?" The episode also explores the issue of suicide in pastoral ministry, and whether or not the concept of victorious Christian living can be reconciled with the believer's experience of depression.
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About the Podcast
The Hope + Help Project podcast offers compassionate biblical conversations about life's challenging problems. The purpose of the podcast is to share Christ-centered comfort and clarity for those seeking biblical solutions for the struggles they face. The podcast accomplishes this by offering a mix of interviews with seasoned biblical counseling professionals and ministry leaders on a variety of topics. Listeners can expect to receive biblical wisdom as well as practical steps for facing suffering, struggling and sin with courage and grace. Hosted by author/writer Christine M. Chappell.
About the Guest
Terry Powell teaches Church Ministry classes at Columbia International University in South Carolina. His books include Serve Strong: Biblical Encouragement to Sustain God’s Servants and Now That’s A Good Question! How To Lead Quality Bible Discussions. Terry blogs frequently about depression and faith at penetratingthedarkness.com.

Send Terry an email at terry.powell@ciu.edu.

Books Terry recommended during this episode:

Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression by Zack Eswine
Future Grace: The Purifying Power of the Promises of God by John Piper
Lectures to My Students by C.H Spurgeon
About Terry's Books
Serve Strong helps volunteers as well as vocational Christian workers combat discouragement, persevere through weariness, and cultivate endurance for the long haul. Serve the Lord long enough and discouragement or some form of opposition is inevitable. Joy-sapping workloads, feelings of inadequacy, lack of fruitfulness, or battle fatigue from spiritual warfare often spurs God's servants to quit or sabotages their passion. The purpose of this book is to infuse them with biblical perspectives that buoy flagging spirits, boost motivation, and cultivate endurance.
What can you do to help engrossing Bible discussions thrive in your small group? Now that’s a good question! This book is teeming with ideas and examples to help you lead your small group or Sunday school class — guiding group members to observe, interpret and apply God’s Word in productive, meaningful discussion sessions.
Helpful Articles from Terry
DESPAIR AND REBUTTALS: THE SUSTAINING POWER OF GOD’S WORD
I’m not saying that offering biblical rebuttals to doubt, fear, weariness, demotivation, burdens, temptations, and depression is like a powerful injection of an antibiotic that immediately and permanently takes away an infection. Yet I am saying that meditating on the promises of God, ingesting truths that pertain to my problems, and mulling over His perspectives on what I’m going through makes a noticeable difference, both inside me and behaviorally.
4 “BUT GOD” VERSES THAT THWART DESPONDENCY OF MINISTRY LEADERS AND VOLUNTEERS
Here are four verses that I find particularly helpful when I’m discouraged about ministry, whether the nemesis is a feeling of inadequacy, spiritual warfare, or an area of personal failure or temperamental weakness that leaves me feeling unqualified. Whether you are a pastor, an associate church staff member, a missionary, a Sunday School teacher, or one who often shares his faith, may these verses feed your soul as they’ve nourished mine. I’ve italicized the key phrase in each verse.
*Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. Keep in mind that I link to these resources because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. This does not affect the cost of the resource, and the decision is yours whether you choose to purchase them from my link or not. Thanks for your support!
About Your Host
Christine M. Chappell
Author/Writer/Speaker
Christine Chappell is the author of Clean Home, Messy Heartthe host of The Hope + Help Project podcast, and is a guest contributor at Desiring God. She writes frequently about counseling issues at her blog, has completed biblical counseling certificates with the Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship, and is currently pursuing certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
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