The pandemic is giving pastors, ministry leaders, and mental health professionals a crash course in how much mental health matters. Isolation and quarantine have a negative effect on people’s minds and bodies. National reports from the CDC say that demand for mental health care has tripled since March 2020. People who spend a great deal of their time caring for others are particularly vulnerable to burnout.
So long as I persisted in trying to write my own agenda for life, based on my wishes, I met with frustration— so many of my longings simply weren’t going to be fulfilled— not yet, anyway. But whenever I accepted God’s agenda for me (and surely that’s what’s implied in saying “Jesus is Lord”), life became not only bearable but fruitful in unexpected ways. What I perceived as my prison became a field rich with opportunities for knowing and serving Christ.
An autoimmune disease that had been lying dormant surfaced early this year with life-changing force. Overnight my world completely shifted.
My coming to faith has been a gradual journey—at first being quite resistant to the idea, then selectively choosing what to learn from the sermons, and then at some point, my heart opened to God at an accelerated pace. It has been a few years since the first Sunday I stepped into a Redeemer service in NYC, and I am in awe as I never thought I would become a follower of Christ, let alone tell others about my newly found faith. I am truly grateful to have a new identity in Christ!
Since 2007, evangelicalism has begun its own decline. All indications are that in the coming years an unprecedented number of younger Americans will be leaving churches and institutional religion of all kinds behind. But why?