There’s a connection between small groups and mental health. As you may well know, mental and relational health issues are at what experts believe to be an all-time high in our world. Therapists, counselors, life coaches and psychiatrists routinely have waiting lists for clients who are mentally, emotionally and spiritually desperate to see them. Prior to writing this article, I spoke with a well-respected psychiatric doctor in our community. He backed up all the things we’ll discuss further on. He then told me the clinic where he works currently has a new client waiting list longer than there’s ever been in the 30 years of their existence.
The truth of all this: the enemy has declared war on relationships, marriages and individual mental health. If you’re reading this, it’s very likely you serve as a group leader or group point person within your church or organization. This means you and I are on the front lines of this war.
The Link Between Small Groups and Mental Health
Scripture tells us the family is the core of relationships and the husband/father is the Christ figure in the family. If you were to declare war on the family of God, the husband/father would be your prime target for assassination.
Not to minimize or marginalize the spiritual assaults on women and children, but the war declared on men in the church is not only a key strategy of the enemy, it’s a battle we’re collectively losing. Thankfully, we all know God ultimately wins the war. But like physical, earthly wars, there are always casualties.
We’ve all heard the cry for more men to step up and lead in the church. We’ve likely all seen the stats that say if a man decides to come to church, his family is over 80% likely to follow. We also know that man is the family protector, the metaphorical military of sorts. If men fall, their family might not be far behind.
And, so the assaults rain down on men. The enemy seeks to wound us so deeply that we leave the battle altogether.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.