Oral Roberts University
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Abstract

This article explores the silent nature of depression in the local church and suggests that developing Jesus-style friendships can break the silence. It adapts the author’s Doctor of Ministry (DMin) research project, which explored the silent nature of depression in the local church and Christianity’s interpretive healing qualities. This article argues that the church has a rich history of helping sufferers interpret their experiences of depression, but changing worldviews, the growth of the modern medical model, and the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals monopolized health and shoved the church to the periphery of the conversation. Silence became the church’s typical response, which promoted an attitude of stigma and avoidance. The article suggests that developing Jesus-style friendships can help break the silence because social or religious barriers do not restrict such friendships. This model of friendship is crucial for giving depression sufferers a sense of identity, meaning, and purpose within the church community.

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