Renovating the Heart of Kingdom Leaders - Part 10

The Church and Mental Health

Listen to podcast audio:

Kelly Wilkerson and Deanne Ward join Dr. Mark Mayfield on the Gary Wilkerson Podcast to talk about supporting loved ones who are struggling with addiction. Looking to their own stories and personal experiences, they discuss how the church sometimes isn’t prepared to help with mental health issues and how Christians can be well informed, supportive friends.

Key Points from the Podcast

  • The church should be a safe place for people who are struggling with sin, addiction, and mental health issues but it is often a cruel and condemning place.

  • Much of the church is not prepared, equipped, or educated to help those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

  • The Bible is not meant to be a weapon against other believers but against the enemies of God. Scripture should be used to draw people to a deeper relationship with God and others.

  • As Christians we often dismiss emotions or try to cover them with Bible verses rather than confronting them.

  • Important factors in helping those who are struggling are to slow down, be fully present and listen, especially in our busy and distracted modern culture.

  • Caring for our own souls is a vital part of helping others care for their souls.

  • It is important for pastors and leaders to have people with whom they can be vulnerable without fear of judgment or gossip.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Philippians 4:13; Jeremiah 6:13–14; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Corinthians 1–3

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

Episodes in this podcast series:

About Dr. Mark Mayfield

Dr. Mayfield is a former pastor, a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a board-certified counselor, and founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers.

He has more than 14 years of professional counseling experience in clinical, judicial, and faith-based counseling settings across a wide range of patient demographics. Mayfield has professional experience in treating and addressing anxiety, depression, and PTSD, substance abuse, domestic violence, self-injury, and suicide. He is passionate about the integration of faith and mental health.

Dr. Mayfield recently launched his book, titled “HELP! My Teen is Self-Injuring: A Crisis Manual for Parents”  which addresses his own suicide survival story, self-injury, and how to help your child who might be going through this. His second book “The Path Out of Loneliness: Finding and Fostering Connection to God, Ourselves, and One Another”, published through NavPress/Tyndale House, released September 2021.

He has been featured in prominent media outlets including Woman’s Day, Hello Giggles, NBC, Reader’s Digest, Byrdie, and more. Dr. Mayfield is on a list of mental health professionals that was invited to the White House in December 2019 and has had periodic calls with the White House to discuss mental health in America.

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About Deanne Ward

Deanne Ward is the director of My Hope Global, which offers tools and solutions for mental health from a faith-based perspective. Her passion is to impact the lives of others for the cause of Christ. She has traveled to more than 50 countries with this purpose. She has worked with various churches, ministries, and non-profits, establishing and cultivating leadership teams.

Deanne has received more than 42 certifications and licenses with behavioral science and counseling focuses. She received her therapist license from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Along with her therapist license, she has received certifications in the following specialties: Crisis Management, Dealing with Difficult Women, Emotional Intelligence, How to Deal with Unacceptable Behavior, Leadership and Management, Life Coaching, Racial Reconciliation, and many more.

Deanne has been a member of the Association of Christian Counselors since 2002. She is also a member of American Counseling Association since 2014, and a member of Colorado Association of Counselors. She served as Operations Director for Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.

She has served on a number of non-profit boards, including Hope for the Heart, June Hunt’s ministry, the Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation, and many others. She has cultivated key partnerships with National Center for Healthy Vets, Remount Foundation, GUMI Camp, Shadow Warrior, and Operation Restore Warriors.


About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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