Home Podcast Rusty George: How My Church Navigated the Tragedy of Pastoral Suicide

Rusty George: How My Church Navigated the Tragedy of Pastoral Suicide

“All of the help we brought in, with the exception of the guy on staff that leads our staff chapel, was outside help, non-paid.”

“I was prepared to answer this question: “Do we know if Jim is in heaven? Is this the unforgivable sin?” And one of our counselors said to me, ‘Don’t address that as a blanket statement from stage because you have people out there looking for permission.’” 

“In Jarrid’s case, if a guy who is advocating for mental health is unable to be healthy, or unable to overcome suicidal thoughts, what’s the hope for the rest of us? And the answer is certainly found in Jesus, and the answer is certainly found in community, and we recognize that just because somebody made a bad choice in a vulnerable moment does not negate all the good that they’ve previously done.”

“We decided to open up our church on a Wednesday night a couple weeks later and talk about it to our community.” 

“I would just caution every pastor out there: you are going to get people that throw rocks…but there are far more voices out there asking for help than there are saying hurtful things. Speak to those people.”

“We’ll often tell funny things that Jim said or did and remember the good moments because it does help the healing process.”

“I think that we’ve always had mental illness, I think we’ve always had anxiety, but I think, and I hate to blame it all on this, but with the escalation of technology and social media, we have constant bad news in our faces 24/7…It used to be you could run your church and only feel bad about yourself when you went to the annual convention or conference and you were around other pastors that have bigger churches than yours.”

“I would always encourage pastors to take social media fasts, to just get off of the comparison treadmill that we’re always on, of celebrating what God has done and is doing.”

“We live in a day and age where our culture is just feeding that envy monster inside all of us.”

“On your worst day, God is still crazy about you…regardless of how good the numbers were on Sunday.”

Mentioned in the Show by Rusty George

Apostle Paul
John 17
Jarrid Wilson
Kay Warren
Lamentations 3:19
Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
@rustylgeorge [social media handle]
rgeorge@reallifechurch.org [email]
Real Life Church

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye