Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability
Hope and Help in Member Care
Culture shock. Marital strife. Depression. Addictions. Disillusionment. Organization and team tensions. Family trauma. Medical issues. This is not what you signed up for when you pursued missions.
Field workers cross-linguistic, cultural, and ministry boundaries, but they still experience the same mental health challenges as everyone else—and often more. When the missionary unit includes a spouse and children, the complexities multiply as each person undergoes stressors. Needing psychological or psychiatric help too often leads to burnout or worse. It’s time to let go of the stigma and embrace mental health.
Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability opens with stories of scriptural saints who also struggled and still made profound impActs for the kingdom. Then, global contributors—comprised of an equal balance of Korean and Western writers—reach into the complexity of missionary mental health with the added component of accountability in church and agency support systems. Specifically, four important areas of missionary mental health are considered: 1) disillusion, discouragement, and depression; 2) relational dynamics and tensions; 3) contributing factors in missionary psychological duress; and, 4)resources and organizational structures that address missionary mental health.
Every chapter demonstrates courage, personal conviction, and judicious honesty.Significant insights provided through case studies, surveys, and personal reflections will offer action steps for increasing mental health awareness and developing mental health best practices for individuals and teams. Written for field workers and those who support them, Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability is a critical resource in member care.
The mental health issues of missionaries are a topic that rightfully deserves ourattention for missions in the twenty-first century. This publication sheds light on thedark and morbid problems hidden behind the heroic accomplishments far beyondour expectations. Both the missionary and the church communities will find thecandid discussions and the alternatives presented herein vitally indispensable.The comprehensive and professional resources contained in this book unravel aninconvenient truth of missions in our time. All churches that are committed to missions should consult this publication.Kyu Sam Han
I commend the publication of these honest reflections. This book is an essential resource for leaders of denominations, churches, and mission agencies as they wrestle with the significant challenges of sharing the Good News of Jesus across cultures in the twenty-first century.Malcolm McGregorFormer SIM international director 2003–2013currently, seconded to Langham Scholars as Associate Director for Scholar Care
This collection of essays offers a fresh—and much needed—appraisal of the challengesof intercultural Christian ministry, especially in terms of the psychological andinterpersonal challenges that arise. Of special value are the papers dealing with thephenomenal rise and expansion of Korean cross-cultural ministry the past four decades.One hopes this model of ministry will grow as a fruit and witness of the global bodyof Christ.Wilbert R. ShenkFullerGraduate School of Intercultural Studies
These essays call the church to a new level of “best practices” regarding how we screen candidates for missionary service, the support systems at home and abroad which surround the missionary, the intentional provision for space, self-reflection and renewal, as well as ongoing pastoral care for missionaries and their families. This book may challenge our conceptions of what it is like to actually serve as a missionary, but it will be a “balm of Gilead” for those whom we have entrusted with that sacred work to make Christ known among the nations.Timothy C. TennentPresident, Asbury Theological
- Pages: 348
- Publisher: William Carey Publishing
- Binding: Paperback
- Publish Year: 2020
- ISBN: 9781645082842
- Vendor: William Carey Publishing