Rick Warren’s wife, Kay Warren, has revealed that the legacy they want to leave behind is something that’s connected with their new church ministry devoted to mental illness.
The wife of the prominent Evangelical leader and best-selling author worked for orphans and people with HIV/AIDS until the mega-couple launched their new church ministry Hope for Mental Health. She hopes that because of them, the church would learn to welcome people with mental illness into their fold.
In a series of interviews with The Blaze, Kay shared her hope that the church would accept such people “not as people in the margins, not people who were projects, [but] recognized the humanity and the beauty of each person’s life to extend the radical friendship of God to those living with mental illness.”
Their interest in mental health started after their youngest son Matthew, whom the couple claimed to be suffering from mental illness, killed himself in April 2013.
The couple decided to sell off Matthew’s house to fund their new ministry devoted to the illness that drove their son to his death. They believe there is much the church can do about this illness but unable to do so because mental illness is still widely misunderstood.
“Anything that we don’t know what to do with we tend to push it aside and let someone else take care of it,” she said.
Kay shared that they had received negative messages after their son’s death but that they chose not to entertain them. She also picked on the common misconception about how people often think of pastors as perfect individuals. She referred to this as “walking on water syndrome.”
Far from perfect, the couple admitted to paying as much as $100 a week for marriage counselling.
“There are times now when we’ll say, ‘You know, we could really use a tune-up,’ and we’ll go for a while and it helps us through a rough spot. Rick and I are big believers in really good counselling,” Kay revealed in the book “Prophet of Purpose.”
Kay helped Rick build Saddleback into the megachurch it has become. She shared she had also acted as the church secretary, church pianist, and first Sunday school teacher until the church grew in numbers.