Culture shock. Marital strife. Depression. Addictions. Disillusionment. Organization and team tensions. Family trauma. Medical issues. This is not what you signed up for when you pursued missions.
Field workers cross linguistic, cultural, and ministry boundaries, but they still experience the same mental health challenges as everyone else–and often more. When the missionary unit includes a spouse and children, the complexities multiply as each person undergoes stressors. Needing psychological or psychiatric help too often leads to burnout or worse. It’s time to let go of the stigma and embrace mental health.
Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability opens with stories of scriptural saints who also struggled and still made profound impacts for the kingdom. Then, global contributors–comprised of an equal balance of Korean and Western writers–reach into the complexity of missionary mental health with the added component of accountability in church and agency support systems. Specifically, four important areas of missionary mental health are considered: 1) disillusion, discouragement, and depression; 2) relational dynamics and tensions; 3) contributing factors in missionary psychological duress; and, 4) resources and organizational structures that address missionary mental health. Every chapter demonstrates courage, personal conviction, and judicious honesty.
Significant insights provided through case studies, surveys, and personal reflections will offer action steps for increasing mental health awareness and developing mental health best practices for individuals and teams. Written for field workers and those who support them, Missionaries, Mental Health, and Accountability is a critical resource in member care.
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About the Author
Jonathan J Bonk; J Nelson Jennings; Jinbong Kim (Editors)
Jonathan J. Bonk is Research Professor of Mission at Boston University, President of the GMLF, and has been actively involved with the KGMLF since its inception.
J. Nelson Jennings has served as Mission Pastor, Consultant, and International Liaison for Onnuri Church since 2015
Jinbong Kim has served as Coordinator for the Korean Global Mission Leadership Forum since 2008 and Managing Director of the Global Mission Leadership Forum.