Depression: Who really understands it?

Over the last few years, we have become more informed about mental health concerns with a great deal of focus on depression. Some of our information has come from reading books, speaking to experts in this field and attending a couple of seminars. While that information is extremely important, it still leaves a broad measure of unknowns.

This, however, is what we know: a person can be diagnosed with clinical/endogenous depression or reactive depression. Read more


Dealing with a wounded soul

Do you ever struggle with truly feeling loved? Loved by God? Loved by your spouse? Loved by those you love? In your head, maybe you know that people love you or God loves you, but it might not always translate into your heart or soul.

Or maybe you are puzzling over why there are people in your church who, in spite of hearing for years how much God loves them, still find it difficult to internalize that truth? Read more


Knowing when it’s time to leave

“Is it time for me to leave my church?” Many pastors find themselves asking this question. The challenge is to make the decision based on solid Spirit-led discernment, not short-sighted impulse thinking. Read more


The purpose of burnout: An interview with Dr. Archibald Hart

Dr. Archibald Hart is dean emeritus in the department of clinical psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has written close to 30 books, many which deal with stress, burnout and depression. His passion is to see healthy pastors in ministry. Over the years, he has participated in Focus on the Family’s clergy ministry.

Jerry Ritskes and his wife, Renee, are the past directors of our Clergy Care retreat centre at Kerith Creek near Calgary. Their passion is self/soul and marriage care in ministry.

Dr. Hart and Jerry sat down to discuss burnout. Here is their conversation. Read more


Ministering to people with mental health issues

By its very nature, ministry is people-intensive work. Some of the people we encounter, occasionally or regularly, will be dealing with significant mental health issues. Sometimes we will encounter these individuals in our own homes, and sometimes they will be us! Since most pastors are not professional counsellors, it might be helpful to know a few things about some of the common or stressful mental health conditions you may find yourself dealing with. Read more


Parenting with a biblical world view

As a pastor’s kid (PK), hitting my teenage years meant learning to live a dual life: my Christian life, which was pleasing to my parents and my church, and my high school life, which was pleasing to me. My greatest goal was, “May the two never meet.” Of course, neither life – one of hypocrisy and one of blatant sin – was pleasing to God. I did, however, emerge out of those troubling years and went on to follow Jesus Christ as Lord, become a pastor and eventually raise four PKs who live out a Biblical, Christian world view. I determined early on that, if at all possible, I would not repeat history with my kids. Read more


Boundaries in marriage

Pastor Peter Scazzero, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, shares a powerful mantra: “As goes the leader’s marriage, so goes the church.” That is at once both awe-inspiring and immensely frightening. Read more


Ten top symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality

Jay, one of our church members, recently shared with me: “I was a Christian for 22 years. But instead of being a 22-year-old Christian, I was a one-year old Christian 22 times! I just kept doing the same things over and over and over again.” Read more


12 steps church leaders can take to help domestic abuse victims

U.S.-based domestic abuse counsellor Lynette J. Hoy answers the following question: What specific steps can church leaders take to help domestic abuse victims? Read more


H.B. London Jr. on life, ministry and family

In an exclusive, candid interview with Focus on the Family Canada, H.B. London Jr. shares the wisdom he’s gained from more than 50 years in the ministry and 20 years as the “pastor to pastors” at Focus on the Family in the U.S. We had the privilege of spending a few days with London on the eve of his retirement. In this candid discussion, he shares how the ministry has changed over the decades, important life lessons he’s learned, and his top five tips for answering God’s call in your life. Read more