Jump directly to the Content

Pam was a straight-A student, president of the church youth group, and a top competitor in state track.

Just a year before graduation, however, her parents found her dead in the car, the exhaust pipe stuffed with rags.

Pam's bewildering actions illustrate a raging American epidemic: suicide. The problem is increasing especially among teenagers. For those fifteen to nineteen years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death; since 1955, it has increased 300 percent. Even more alarming is the number of children younger than fifteen who kill themselves. In 1950, forty committed suicide; in 1985, three hundred did.

One week after delivering a sermon on hope in a world of growing despair, Herbert W. Chilstrom, bishop of the Minnesota Synod for the Lutheran Church in America, found a family member had lost all hope. His son Andrew, eighteen, shot himself to death.

Suicide grimly reminds us all is not well in the world, and this is where a pastor has much to offer-hope and meaning for those ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Twitter Theology
Twitter Theology
What do tweets reveal about what pastors really value?
From the Magazine
The Unearthed Conscience of Black Fundamentalism
The Unearthed Conscience of Black Fundamentalism
A hard racial line divided conservative white and Black Protestants 100 years ago. It didn’t have to be that way.
Editor's Pick
Jesus’ Miracles Showcase More Than His Power. They Reveal His Pastoral Nature.
Jesus’ Miracles Showcase More Than His Power. They Reveal His Pastoral Nature.
Learning from the Good Shepherd’s gentle care.
close