Suicide in a congregation is one of the most heart-wrenching and intimidating challenges that a pastor can face. In this interview, Mike speaks with Drs Scott Gibson and Karen Mason about the holistic approaches that preachers and churches can implement to make our communities centers of hope and life in the face of the darkness of suicide. In this wide-ranging interview they speak about church culture shaping, honour and shame, the unforgivable sin, depression in the Bible, pastoral suicide and even more.
Lexham Press is partnering with Expositors Collective to offer their book “Preaching Hope in Darkness; Help for Pastors Addressing Suicide from the Pulpit” at a 40% discount for listeners to this podcast – to avail of this deal visit www.LexhamPress.com/Expositors and enter the codeEXPOSITORSHOPE
Dr. Scott M. Gibson holds the David E. Garland Endowed Chair in Preaching and serves as the Director of the Doctor of Philosophy in Preaching program at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University, Waco, Texas. Prior to coming to Truett in 2018, Dr. Gibson served for 27 years at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA, teaching preaching and directing various programs in preaching. At Gordon-Conwell he was the Haddon W. Robinson Professor of Preaching.
Professor Gibson is a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania. He attended the Pennsylvania State University where he majored in education. After completing the Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Gibson continued his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary where he was awarded the Master of Theology degree (homiletics), the University of Toronto where he earned a master’s degree (church history), and the University of Oxford where he completed the doctor of philosophy degree (church history), concentrating on the life, preaching and work of A.J. Gordon.
Upon his return from Britain in 1985, Professor Gibson served as a pastor and interim pastor at churches in Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. Dr. Gibson is co-editor with Keith Willhite of The Big Idea of Biblical Preaching, (Baker 1998) and editor of Making a Difference in Preaching: Haddon Robinson on Biblical Preaching (Baker 1999), reaching to a Shifting Culture: 12 Perspectives on Preaching that Connects (Baker 2004), Contemporary Baptists and Historic Faith (Principle Press 2005), Preaching the Old Testament (Baker 2006) editor and introduction to, How Christ Came to Church: The Pastor’s Dream, A Spiritual Autobiography by A.J. Gordon (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2010), Preaching Points: 55 Tips for Improving Your Pulpit Ministry (Wooster: Weaver, 2016), The Worlds of the Preacher: Navigating Biblical, Cultural, and Personal Contexts (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2018), Training Preachers: A Guide to Teaching Homiletics (Bellingham: Lexham, 2018), and with Matthew D. Kim, Homiletics and Hermeneutics: Four Views of Preaching Today (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2018).
He is author of A.J. Gordon: American Premillennialist (University Press of America 2001), Preaching for Special Services (Baker 2001), Should We Use Someone Else’s Sermon: Preaching in a Cut and Paste World (Zondervan 2008), Preaching with a Plan: Sermon Strategies for Growing Mature Believers (Baker 2012), with Karen Mason, Preaching Hope in Darkness: Help for Pastors in Addressing Suicide from the Pulpit (Bellingham: Lexham, 2020) and with Matthew D. Kim, The Big Idea Companion for Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2020). He has contributed numerous articles to books and journals, in addition to having other writing and research projects in hand. He has served as editor of The Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society since 2000 and was editor of the ABE Journal for 14 years.
Dr. Gibson is an ordained Baptist minister. He is past-president and co-founder of the Evangelical Homiletics Society. He lectures on preaching in seminaries and colleges and preaches at churches and conferences. Contemporary issues in preaching, discipleship, pastoral ministry concerns, the history of preaching and the history of evangelicalism are some of Gibson’s professional interests.
Dr. Gibson and his wife, Rhonda, live in Hewitt, TX.
Dr. Karen Mason is a Professor of Counseling and Psychology and the Director of the Counseling Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—Hamilton where she has prepared students to be licensed mental health counselors since 2006. She is a native of Colorado (and loves to ski and hike). She learned French while growing up in France, some German while living in Austria and some Haitian Creole while living in Haiti, teaching at Hope Academy. She has also lived in Pakistan, teaching at Murree Christian School. She completed an M.A. in Old Testament at Denver Seminary and an M.A. and Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Denver with a minor in industrial / organizational psychology.
In addition to being a licensed professional counselor and a licensed psychologist, she has managed teams and several high impact projects at the Mental Health Center of Denver. Before moving to Massachusetts, she managed the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She has worked in the mental health field since 1990 with clients across the age-span and in a variety of settings including Lahey Behavioral Health.
She is currently in private practice. Her research is focused on the clergy’s and faith community’s role in suicide prevention. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American sychological Association.
The Expositors Collective podcast is part of the GoodLion podcast network, for more thought provoking Christian podcasts visit https://goodlion.io