Miles McPherson, pastor of San Diego’s Rock Church, shared his thoughts on the tragic suicide of Andrew Stoecklein, pastor of Inland Hills Church (Chino, CA), in a Facebook post on Monday.
He emphasized that depression, anxiety, and suicide are no respecters of persons. They can be experienced by ‘rich, poor, married, single, Christian, not Christian, young, and old.’
He also encouraged his followers to pray for their leaders, pastors, bosses, parents, and guardians, nothing that those in leadership positions bear a great responsibility and a great burden.
Below are his full comments:
Andrew Stoecklein, Pastor of Inlandhills Church attempted suicide this weekend and took his last breath yesterday evening. My heart is heavy although I did not know Pastor Andrew personally, he is still my brother. Reading through what his wife, friends and congregation wrote about him, he was a man of great leadership and passion for Jesus.
Often times it can be discouraging when we hear someone of leadership committing suicide. We tend to believe they’re invincible, have it all together and don’t go through struggles that most face but time and time again we see that suicidal thoughts don’t discriminate. Whether you’re rich, poor, married, single, Christian, not Christian, young, old.
Rather than being discouraged by this loss, let’s commit to praying for those in leadership to us. Pray for your pastor today, pray for your boss, your leaders, your parents/guardians. To whom much is given, much is required and the burden can be very heavy.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, I urge you to reach out to someone. Your life is important and God loves you deeply. You aren’t meant to carry this burden alone.
Please pray for Andrew’s wife (@kaylasteck) and children as they mourn and heal during this difficult time. Praying for peace and comfort over Inland Hills Church and all those close to Pastor Andrew.