1. The devil is out to destroy Christian leaders and Christian families. This tragedy is a prime example of that.
2. Christians need to start being honest, open, and transparent about the struggles in their personal lives and in their families, and need to stop trying to present everything as wonderful when it isn’t.
3. Millennials (people 35 and under) who have the opportunity to take on leadership roles need to be honest and admit it if they are not ready to handle the pressure and responsibility of leadership.
Andrew Stoecklein, the 30-year-old pastor of Inland Hills Church in Chino, CA, attempted to commit suicide on Friday, August 24th, after a struggle with depression and anxiety. He was hospitalized, and succumbed to his injuries on Saturday. He leaves behind a wife and three sons.
The church released the following statement when it learned of the suicide attempt: “IHC Family and friends, please pray for our lead pastor, Andrew Stoecklein. He tried to take his own life Friday morning, and is now in the hospital on life support. We love and serve a God of miracles, and we ask you to press in and respond in prayer and in faith.”
The church released the following statement after Stoecklein’s passing:
“Inland Hills Church grieves with heavy hearts as our Lead Pastor Andrew Stoecklein was welcomed into Heaven on Saturday night after battling depression and anxiety. It’s not the outcome we hoped and prayed for, and today we grieve as a church family. In his time leading Inland Hills, Andrew reached so many with his warm wit, passionate heart for God, and teaching that always, always pointed others to Jesus. The loving husband, father, son, and friend that he was will continue to inspire us in leading others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
“And in this tragedy, we encourage anyone who is hurting emotionally to ask for help. If you or anyone else is struggling, the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255) is a potentially life-saving resource.
“May we be a beacon of hope for the community, to rescue the hurting and honor the God that Andrew served so well.
“Andrew, we love you. And we always will. #godsgotthis #inlandhills”
Below is a sermon Andrew Stoecklein preached on Sunday, August 13th, just thirteen days before he committed suicide.