1,200 pastors will come to Dallas to address mental health, social justice and more

More than 1,200 pastors and faith leaders will gather in mid-July to share ideas on how to address mental health, social justice and other issues affecting the communities they serve.

The Concord Church in south Dallas will host the July 11-13 gathering.

Mental health has become an increasingly serious issue since the Corona pandemic. Many have limited access to resources, despite high rates of serious suicidal ideation in the past 30 days and increases in substance abuse in 2020.

“You’ve got a mental health crisis, of course the race crisis, you’ve got an economic crisis, you’ve got all these dynamics that continue to impact and affect the communities that we serve in,” said Pastor Bryan Carter, leader of the 10,000-member church. “Passionately, we come together to really learn and talk about how we share and preach in this context, but also how we do it effectively.”

“I think the mental health component is a constant issue that we face, both personally and for the family,” he said. “Depression and anxiety, suicide among our young adults and teenagers, the grief of the past year — the grief of loved ones lost amid COVID, but also the grief of life changes — is an integral part of it.”

In addition to mental health and social justice, workshops will address topics such as navigating a post-pandemic church and engaging young generations.

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of people who identify with Christianity or a particular religion has declined. The number of those who identify with Christianity has fallen from 78% in 2007 to 63% in 2021, the study said.

Carter said that while church attendance has increased over the past year, it is not yet at pre-pandemic levels. He said attending in person is a way for many people to reconnect with their communities.

Carter says black churches are some of the richest assets Dallas has in terms of community and influence. Many are affiliated with nonprofit organizations, such as B. Pantries, economic empowerment, and re-entry programs for those getting out of prison.

“Dallas is incredibly blessed to have such a strong network of churches with an incredible commitment to living the gospel and bringing it to people,” he said. “And we still have a long way to go… We still have the prosperity gap and the gap between South Dallas and North Dallas. We have some big challenges there, but I believe many churches are working to find solutions.”

Comments are closed.