Giving Coaches To Ministers

Yesterday, I told you about a new endeavor our family has started to help ministers in crisis: The Phil Lineberger Minister Wellness Fund. Today, a little more detail about what that fund will accomplish.

We’re partnering with Matt Stanford of the Hope and Healing Center to create a nationwide network of mental health care coaches that will provide confidential, individualized, holistic care to ministers in crisis.

Phil Lineberger Minister Wellness Fund

Why I Needed A Coach

I know from my own experience with clinical depression that mental illness afflicts the whole person. My brain, marriage, faith, and body were all affected. I needed holistic care.

I didn’t have the energy or ability to research treatment options, choose the best one and then follow through with it. I needed someone to tell me what to do and make sure I did it.

Becky suffered too. She struggled to understand what was happening to me and how to help. She was exhausted and afraid. Eventually, it was her stress and fatigue that made me wonder if everyone would be better off without me around. Becky needed someone on her side.

Man, I wish we’d had a coach.

What Does A Coach Do?

Multiple longitudinal studies have shown that health care led by a coach (also called “coordinated care” or “collaborative care”) works better than managing care alone.

A coach would have explained my illness to Becky. Then, the coach would have worked with us to devise a treatment plan – narrowing our options, making recommendations.

A coach could have made appointments for us. And when we had questions or concerns along the way we could have called the coach 24/7. “I’m feeling ________. Is that normal?” “The doctor said _____________. What does that mean?”

A coach would have helped me stick to the treatment plan – checking in when I had an appointment with a doctor or when a prescription needed to be filled.

Once I was back on my feet, the coach would have helped us make a prevention plan to stay well. And a coach would have helped me use what I’d been through to better minister to others.

A coach manages care from beginning to end.

Providing Coaches To Ministers

Matt recently stepped down as professor of neuroscience and psychology at Baylor University. He’s an expert in mental health care coaching. With your help and his leadership, we’ll launch a coaching program designed specifically to serve ministers and their spouses. We’ll expand this program nationwide in the next three years, and we’ll create a website through which pastors and their spouses can quickly connect with a coach.

Help us give a coach to a minister in crisis. To donate to the Phil Lineberger Minster Wellness Fund visit

This is just half of what your donation will accomplish. I’ll tell you about the rest on Monday.