How Summit Church Addresses Mental Health

How Summit Church Addresses Mental Health

By: Summit Church

Summit Church is a Baptist, three-campus church in Fort Myers, Gateway, and Naples with a combined weekly attendance of about 2,000. The church aims to be such an integral part of the Southwest Florida community that we would be missed if we weren’t here. In striving for the flourishing of every man, woman, and child, Summit thoughtfully develops in-church programs and works with partners to meet mental health needs.

Our largest area of personal engagement is our Community Groups. These are places of intentional community that meet in members’ homes a few times each month and build relationships between gatherings. In a large church, it can be easy to fall through the cracks, so Community Groups are a place for members to build support networks, which is vital for spiritual and mental health. Community Groups are people who walk through hard situations with you and celebrate good things too.

Our second level of engagement is pastoral care. With a staff of a couple dozen people, our pastors can’t personally counsel every person in the church all the time. But they are able to meet with members to offer encouragement, correction, and direction on where to find more help if needed. Pastors can help with spiritual questions, marital issues, emotional distress, and wisdom and guidance.

Summit is very blessed to have a counseling center, called Summit Biblical Counseling. Led by Mrs. Chris Minott, the center has a staff of counselors certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Each counselor has attended classes, taken tests, written theology essays, and trained with other counselors. They are able to meet with Summit members and with those outside the church who want counseling from a Christian worldview.

Another way we practice care is through Recovery at Summit, which meets every Thursday from 7:00-9:00 PM at our University campus. This is a warm and non-judgmental community where people can be honest about their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. These include struggles like drug, alcohol, and sexual addiction, but also things like anxiety, codependency, grief, and any emotional struggle. We use a curriculum based around the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Bible.

A big part of Summit’s DNA is what we call the Every Child Initiative. Through this initiative, we seek to care for orphans through foster and other in-home care, support for children overseas, and ministry to victims of human trafficking and abortion. While this isn’t specifically a mental health initiative, health and healing are clearly a part of every ministry under this umbrella.

Our pastors and biblical counselors also refer people to outside counselors who can help with specific struggles or because Summit Biblical Counseling has a waiting list. We vet these outside counselors to be sure they’re both professionally competent and biblically aligned with our values. Summit’s staff also coordinates with inpatient facilities in multiple states, so we can help members find long-term treatment. We want to continue to offer support both when they are away and when they return and re-integrate into our community.

Summit is thankful to partner with those in our community who strive to help people get emotionally healthy, build strong relationships, and thrive. That is why we are thankful for David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health.

 

To learn more about Summit Church, please visit: www.summitlife.com

Jul 01, 2022 | Blog

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