Home Christian News Some Christians Labeled Simone Biles a ‘Quitter,’ ‘Selfish,’ ‘Sociopath’—But Pastors Should Applaud...

Some Christians Labeled Simone Biles a ‘Quitter,’ ‘Selfish,’ ‘Sociopath’—But Pastors Should Applaud Her

The debate over Simone Biles’ decision is reminiscent of recent conversations in the church over the mental health of pastors and other ministry leaders. Jarrid Wilson, Steve Austin, and Darrin Patrick are only a few the pastors who have died by suicide in recent years.

After Pastor Andrew Stoecklein took his own life in August 2018, his widow Kayla Stoecklein urged pastors not to neglect their mental health in the midst of their efforts to serve others. “As a pastor, as a leader, you carry so much,” she said. “And you’re trying to be everything for everyone. And you forget that you’re human too.”

Based on her experience as a pastor’s wife, Kayla believes that a lot of church leaders are not good at taking care of themselves in many areas of life. She says, “We often encourage others to seek counseling or exercise or rest or eat better, and we don’t actually do it ourselves.” She emphasizes that pastors must do better at self-care. Otherwise, they won’t be able to minister to other people and then, “it’s just a matter of time before, like Andrew, we hit the wall and we burn out. We must give ourselves permission and margin to heal and rest.”

Simone Biles is showing us what that wisdom looks like—as well as how much resistance to it there still is.

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.