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The Murray State News

Journey Church hosts mental health series


Journey Church began a mental health series Sunday, April 7, focusing on the reality of mental health challenges within the church environment and how Jesus’ teachings can assist people navigating them.

Matt Johnson, pastor of Journey, said one in five adults and one in three young adults face some form of mental health challenges. 

“We’ve personally experienced how Jesus makes life better and makes us better at life, so we want to make it simple for people to apply his teachings to their life challenges,” Johnson said. 

Before beginning the series, Johnson reached out to local mental health professionals for a review of his teaching notes, ensuring his content was accurate and helpful. He said Journey is presenting the series with the endorsement of those professionals.

The six-week series began this past Sunday and will conclude on May 12. The first sermon was an introductory message. Johnson said the following weeks will include topics of anxiety, depression, burnout, suicide and supporting family members who struggle with mental health challenges.

Johnson said the desire for Journey is to be a safe place for people to share their struggles and emphasized the importance of talking about the issues rather than hiding them from others.

“Not talking about it is not working, so our goal is to create a healthy conversation that allows people to find the support, hope and encouragement they need,” he said. “People need to know God is with them and cares for them in their mental health struggles.”

Johnson said people also should know there is a community around them who desires to support and carry the burden of mental health challenges with them.

Concerning the stigma around mental health challenges in a Christian environment, Johnson said the Bible is filled with people who love God and also face mental health issues. He said the series will highlight some of those people.

“The stigmas some Christians have created around mental health are harmful and do not reflect the teachings of Jesus or the experiences of people in Scripture,” he said. “We hope to debunk those in this series.”

Johnson said underplaying or “over-spiritualizing” mental health challenges is harmful to people. He said there are necessary solutions that go beyond more prayer or Scripture-reading.

“We’re encouraging people facing mental health issues to see a doctor (or) counselor, share their struggles with someone they trust and talk honestly with God about their struggles,” he said.

Johnson said Journey is also teaching people how to best support others who struggle with mental health issues.

The series will continue to be held Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. at the FOR Center located at 2314 Brinn Road. Both the in-person messages and shorter versions can be found on the Journey YouTube page or at

Johnson said people seeking help with mental health can contact Journey Church or find multiple mental health resources at

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Caroline Blakeman
Caroline Blakeman, Assistant News Editor
Caroline Blakeman is a sophomore pursuing a bachelor of arts in journalism. She is also an honors student. In her free time, she loves listening to classic rock, reading or taking naps.

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