The community where I am called to serve has had a devastating 2016. I say this due to the fact that since the beginning of the year five teens have chosen to end their lives. This has both rocked the community as well as brought the issue of teen suicide to the collective attention of my city. Naturally, when tragedy such as this happens we begin to ask questions… “Why did this happen? What can we do to prevent this? How can I help?” These questions are natural and necessary, and can pop up in conversations when you least expect them.
Take for example the monthly radio interview I do with our local Christian radio station. Every month I come in and give a brief 10 minute description of all the upcoming events at our church. We typically begin with pleasantries and idle chitchat before I move on to my list of events. This time I was hit with a more serious question about the issue of teen suicide. I took some time to speak to the topic, and then moved on to my list. I didn’t give the interview much thought until a local pastor called me and explained how thankful he was for everything that I had said. I can only assume that my response helped – at least for him – answer those natural and necessary questions everyone has been asking. You can find the audio for that interview at the bottom of this post.
Before you give the audio a listen, please understand that I generalized my comments. Although I understand there can be chemical and biological factors that cause depression, I did not specifically address those. Nor did I address the need for support programs or seeking the help of trained professionals. What I did do was give an answer for what the church can do. Can the church create programs, train counsellors and engage in community youth events? Yes and amen it can. However, as the unique body of Christ, the primary thing we can do is utilize the spiritual gifts and tools Christ has given us to use. We can pray, and we can share the hope of His calling and the riches of His glorious inheritance. Feel free to listen and maybe place your comments below.