How to Navigate Depression as a Pastor - Diana Gruver - 03 FrontStage BackStage with Jason Daye
Play • 34 min

Pastors are people, too, and can struggle with doubt and depression. On today's episode, I have an amazing conversation with Diana Groover, author of Companions in the Darkness, as we look at encouragement for pastors who are wrestling with depression, and creating safe spaces, so we can effectively minister to others who are struggling as well.

Dig deeper into this conversation: Find the free Weekly Toolkit, including the Ministry Leaders Growth Guide, all resource links, and more at

Some key takeaways from this conversation:

Diana Gruver on pastors with depression, etc, getting the help they need: “I think, especially for those of us who are in a ministry leadership position, we try to push through and plow through and just shove it all down. And the more you cram that stuff down, the more explosive it's going to be when you can't contain it anymore. So get the help that you need. The professional help that you need, the community help that you need to try to support you in that journey.”

Diana Gruver on assessing our church culture related to people experiencing pain: "How does our church culture feel in general, not just specifically about mental illness, but about pain? Do we have a culture where people feel like they need to show up to church with a smile plastered on acting like they have to have it all together? Or is it a space that people know that they can come struggling or hurting, and not be met with cliches, not be met with judgment, but just be surrounded by support?"

Diana Gruver on depression and our spiritual life: “I don't think depression is a reflection on someone's spiritual life, right? It affects our spiritual life. But being depressed does not mean that we don't have enough faith, we're not taking spiritual discipline seriously enough, or any of these types of things. And I think that's one of the most unhelpful things that comes up, is whenever someone struggles in this way, or they feel in the midst of depression, that sense of God's absence, or it's harder to pray. Sometimes you get these cliches that just feed the stigma that if you just try harder, if you just have more faith, if you just prayed more, you could wiggle your way out of where you are. And I just don't think that's the case."


Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? FrontStage BackStage is much more than another church leadership show, it is a complete resource to help you and your ministry leaders grow. Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed.

Visit to find the entire Weekly Toolkit, including the Ministry Leaders Growth Guide (Our team pulls key insights and quotes from every conversation with our amazing guests. We also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode's topic relates to your unique church context. Use these questions in your regular staff meetings, or other settings, to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders.)

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