When you hear the word church, what comes to mind? Do words like comfort, connection, authenticity, excitement, joy, acceptance, or support surface?
Or do words like . . .
Bubble up? Our world today is desperate for hope. The church is the community God ordained to offer the hope found only in Jesus. Sadly, oftentimes, those looking for hope have found rejection, judgment, and hurt—not from Jesus but from those who profess to be Christians.
Brad Hoefs knows this all too well. While pastoring one of the nation’s fastest-growing churches, Brad’s life fell apart due to a mental-health challenge.
While most of his congregation offered judgment, a few people came to his rescue. The story of finding fresh hope began as Brad journeyed through the healing process. As you watch this interview, I hope you ask yourself . . .
What would my church have done?
What would I have done?
Is my church a place that people run to for grace and hope?
Watch the Interview
- How has your “messy” testimony brought hope and healing for others?
- Tell us about your ministry Fresh Hope.
- Why is it so important to forgive ourselves as well as others?
- Why is it helpful for us to remember our hurts?
- How did Fresh Hope get started?
- How were you shown extraordinary grace by the members of your congregation?
- How can we forgive others who have hurt us while still holding them accountable for their actions?
- Why must we resist making excuses for our weaknesses?
- Why is there a stigma about Christians taking medication for mental illness?
- How can our feelings be at odds with what we know to be true about God?
- Can we ever be too broken for God to fix?
Let Me Hear from You
If you have been hurt by people in the Christian church, I understand. I also understand that hope for all humanity comes from Jesus Christ. In our world, we need hope . . . FRESH HOPE . . . not hope for a moment but hope for a lifetime. Regardless your struggles, please connect with Brad Hoefs and Insight for Living Ministries. We long for all who hurt to find hope and meaning in life.
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About Brad Hoefs
After experiencing a bipolar relapse in 2002, Brad knew it was time to start attending a mental health support group.
For years Brad had believed that if a church/ministry meets unmet needs of the people in the community that the people will show up. And that is exactly what happened. After starting the Fresh Hope group, the church where Brad served as pastor grew significantly. People knew that it was a safe place of healing and hope. Hope is desperately needed for those who suffer . . . as well as for those who love them!
Brad has committed his life to stomping out hopelessness for those who have mental illnesses. He is a certified peer specialist and mental health advocate. He serves on the State Advisory Committee to the Governor of Nebraska Mental Health Services. In March 2013, Brad released his first book, Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis. He regularly coaches others to live well in spite of their struggle with mental health issues. He’s committed to helping break the stigmas regarding mental illness and challenging the church-at-large to address the needs of those who struggle in silence.
Brad Hoefs Resources
Insight for Living Ministries Resources
Messages by Charles R. Swindoll:
Booklet by Charles R. Swindoll:
Reframing Ministries Resources