Opinions Needed! Please respond!

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Lms526, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hello everyone!
    Lately, I have really been wrestling with my God-given purpose in life. I have felt for many years that I had no purpose. Over the course of my life, I have come to believe that I am a mistake. That I have no value or purpose for my life. But all that has changed. Today, I really felt compelled to journal and pray about my purpose. I feel that the Lord has revealed my purpose to me. And it definitely wasn't what I was expecting. And it is definitely out of my comfort zone. I believe that the Lord has shown me that my purpose and ministry has to do with people who suffer from depression. Both those in the Christian churches and those outside of it. I want to reach out to both believers and non-believers. There are 3 main objectives that I feel the Lord wants me to focus on. Evangelism, encouragement/support, and education. I'm not exactly sure yet how this is going to all pan out. But I am so excited to find out. I believe the Lord is also asking me to go public with my own struggles with depression, despair, hopelessness and discouragement. I feel part of that will involve speaking to the entire church. Here again, I have no idea what I'm going to say or when.

    Anyway, I need your help. I have come up with some questions I may at some point print up something to pass on to the whole church. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. If you can think of any additional questions or areas of need, please let me know!

    Here are some potential questions that I've thought of so far.

    1. Do you struggle with depression?

    2. How long have you struggled with depression?

    3. As a whole, do you think that the church is accepting of people with depression? Why or why not?

    4. How open have you been with your church about your struggles with depression? Is it something you feel comfortable discussing with your pastor or others in leadership? What about with other Christians in the congregation? Or is your depression something that you feel you must hide and be ashamed of?

    5. Overall, do you feel that your depression has helped or hindered your relationship with God and others in the Church?

    6. Do you wish the church would discuss the issue of depression more openly and honestly?

    7. What are some common misconceptions about depression in the church?

    8. What are you some practical ways that the church can encourage, support, and help people (both Christians and non-Christians) who suffer from depression?

    9. Do you think it would be helpful to develop a Bible study and/or outreach that targets people with depression?

    10. What are some practical ways to educate people who have never suffered from depression themselves? What is the best way to help people understand what depression is like?

    11. What can be done to eliminate the stigma that is attached to depression both in society and in the Church?

    12. What do you think of the idea of having some kind of art show? The purpose of the show would be education and encouragement. All the art would be submitted by people who have been in some way touched by depression. Either from personal experience, or from watching a friend or loved one struggle with depression. This could include art of any kind including song lyrics, paintings, drawings, poetry, and stories, both fiction and non-fiction. If people feel comfortable they can put their name on their contribution. Otherwise, they could remain anonymous.




    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2008]
  2. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    bumping it to the top of the page.
  3. getridof

    getridof New Member

    Can I just fill in parts of your quiz? Because I don't (can't) go to church due to my own problem.

    1. Do you struggle with depression?
    -Yes.

    2. How long have you struggled with depression?
    -Years.

    3. As a whole, do you think that the church is accepting of people with depression? Why or why not?
    -It really depends on who you'll be communicating with. Personally I don't think all the christians in church can understand or get interested in depressed people.

    4. How open have you been with your church about your struggles with depression? Is it something you feel comfortable discussing with your pastor or others in leadership? What about with other Christians in the congregation? Or is your depression something that you feel you must hide and be ashamed of?
    -.................................(same answer as question 3)

    5. Overall, do you feel that your depression has helped or hindered your relationship with God and others in the Church?
    -I can just say, because of my depression I pray a lot.........

    6. Do you wish the church would discuss the issue of depression more openly and honestly?
    -Yes, but "honestly"......hmmmm...I doubt that.

    7. What are some common misconceptions about depression in the church?
    -...............................(I don't know)

    8. What are you some practical ways that the church can encourage, support, and help people (both Christians and non-Christians) who suffer from depression?
    -I think the chruch can ask the followers who are experienced in counselling or psychiatry, and encourage them to set up a cell group to talk to people in need every Sunday after the worship.

    9. Do you think it would be helpful to develop a Bible study and/or outreach that targets people with depression?
    -That might help.

    10. What are some practical ways to educate people who have never suffered from depression themselves? What is the best way to help people understand what depression is like?
    - Really difficult.........

    11. What can be done to eliminate the stigma that is attached to depression both in society and in the Church?
    -..................................

    12. What do you think of the idea of having some kind of art show? The purpose of the show would be education and encouragement. All the art would be submitted by people who have been in some way touched by depression. Either from personal experience, or from watching a friend or loved one struggle with depression. This could include art of any kind including song lyrics, paintings, drawings, poetry, and stories, both fiction and non-fiction. If people feel comfortable they can put their name on their contribution. Otherwise, they could remain anonymous.
    - Sounds interesting. That might draw people's attention to care about those who are in need.
  4. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    We are two different people, so my suggestion may not be the way you want to do this.

    I'm suggesting that you make a list of depression symptoms and not even use the word depression. I think you will get more interested people doing it this way. I'm suggesting that you establish "buy in" before you ask them a bunch of questions. I think you need to approach this subject more subtly. Anyway, just my opinion.

    Something like:
    Do you have, or do you know someone who has experienced some of the following symptoms?

    (and then list the symptoms)



    The word "depression" can cause some people not to respond because they don't want to be labeled as depressed. Anyway, that is just my opinion (for whatever it is worth).
  5. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    I was just basically brainstorming. I've just started thinking about this, I'm no where near ready to start planning something concrete at this point. I honestly don't know if your suggestion is a good one or not. I will give it some thought. But I was thinking about asking the questions as an anonymous survey. So then people would feel free to be honest. Thank you for your input.

    Getridof-Thank you for your answers as well. I will keep everyone updated on how things develop.

    Lms526
  6. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    just bumping it back to the top.
  7. skikat

    skikat New Member


    i congratulate you for taking the time to seek the LORD about the direction HE wants for your life. many more should do this, for HE will surely speak.
    i am an ordained mnister and s former bible college professor, and would like to maybe just give you a couple of tips.
    some subjects, such as one like this are very hard to get people to respond to in a situation where they are well known.

    i do many different seminars, (not as many as i used to because of fibro), but this is the avenue that works for me. and you could even have it posted in the church bulletien, as well as putting up posters in stores or places like resturants, anywhere that will allow you to.


    you could maybe write the heading something like ,

    "ARE YOU PLAGUED WITH OVERWHELMING SADNESS, EXCESSIVE MOURNING, OR DEPRESSION AT ANY LEVEL OR JUST NEED TO TALK???
    THE BELOW THAT , LIST THE THINGS YOU INTEND TO COVER IN your DISCUSSION where when and all of the particulars.

    but be sur that you are well educated on the subject. since you have had it , then you know what needs to be covered. also, read and study EVERYTHING that you can find on the subject, for many things will be thrown at you , that you may never have even thoughtof, as there are so many levels ans so many reasons.

    the reasons that i suggested you putting up flyers outside the church also is that it would draw the unbelievers in and give you a tool for witnessing also. the other members could form small groups amd then at some point , under your direction, change groups, so that no one is left out. be sure to have cookies and drink so that they can fellowship and get to know each other. just a few tips that i sometimes use in certain subjects.

    hope i have helped, i will be praying for you too as i am sure these dear souls here will also.-skikat

    ps. remember, -educate-educate-educate yourself and ask your pastor for books and dont forget the library. good luck.