Hiding in the Pews
July 6, 2021 - Fortress Press
In 2012, Steve Austin, then a pastor, nearly died by suicide.
His experience launched him on a journey that opened his eyes to the widespread problem of mental illness and how those who live with it are often treated in congregations.
He began to wonder: if church folks had talked openly about mental health, therapy, suicide prevention, recovery from abuse, and other difficult issues, would that have changed his story?
In Hiding in the Pews, people with mental illness--some of whom might be pastors themselves--will find comfort as they learn they are not alone. Those who know someone with mental illness will gain wisdom about how to be a safe presence.
Those who hold the most power in church communities--pastors, board members, and lay leaders--will be challenged and equipped to transform their congregations into places of healing, where it is safe for people to be vulnerable about their suffering.
Austin draws on his own experience, as well as on interviews with eighty current and former church leaders and members. Each chapter covers a topic or theme about mental illness and the church and includes practical applications to guide leaders on a journey toward transforming church culture.
When a church champions vulnerability and establishes safety within its walls, especially for those who are suffering, the healing power of God can set the captives free. Austin offers hope that faith communities will be the first places people think of when they need a sense of safety and belonging.
January 4, 2022 - Broadleaf Books
Slow miracles drive most of us batty most of the time.
We want Microwave Jesus, but we end up with a Christ who insists on slow-roasting everything in a Crockpot.
And yet slow miracles are no less miraculous than mud on the eyes, dipping in the river seven times, sending demons into a herd of pigs, or a dead man walking. They’re all miracles, to be sure. The slower variety just seems to require a little extra time, tenderness, and tenacity.
I’ve seen a few slow miracles of my own, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Because a miracle’s a miracle, no matter how slowly it emerges.
Catching Your Breath
What if you could experience a new level of freedom, strength, healing, and energy?
Too many people are overwhelmed and holding onto deep suffering, unable to catch their breath in a world that tells them to fake it till they make it. As the pressure of fear, pain, anxiety, and anger build, sooner or later these individuals are going to explode—just like bestselling author and life coach Steve Austin did.
That’s no way to live.
With deep honesty, hilarious true stories, and refreshingly straight talk, Austin shares his personal journey from crippling anxiety and perfectionism to calm amid life’s inevitable chaos. He pulls no punches, revealing his darkest moments and the thoughts most people would be too afraid to admit.
Yet he offers hope. In these powerful pages, you’ll find simple ways to cultivate calm and practice self-care while living courageously and authentically.
Steve Austin: The Intersection of Faith + Mental Health
Steve Austin was a pastor when he nearly died by suicide. Years of performance-based Christianity taught Austin to sweep the pain of childhood sexual abuse, plus the shame of PTSD, anxiety, and depression under the rug.
When it came to his suffering, Austin believed it was best not to let anyone know about his secrets - especially church folks. As a result, fear, shame, and guilt were Austin’s constant companions.
Thankfully, a suicide attempt was not the end of his story.
When Austin realized his life wasn’t over, he set about figuring out how to embrace vulnerability by asking for professional help and sharing the uncomfortable truth about his story.
In short: he gave himself permission to be human for the very first time.
Since going public, Austin has learned that countless others are desperate to live an authentic life, too. These days, he helps hurting people find an integrated approach to wholeness, including mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
Since 2012, Austin has written several books, including: Catching Your Breath, Hiding in the Pews, and Slow Miracles. His work has been featured in USA Today, Huffington Post, The Mighty, and other outlets. He has become a leading voice at the intersection of faith and mental health.
Today, Austin consults church leaders from around the U.S. on how to make their faith communities a safe place for those who are suffering. He also hosts the Catching Your Breath podcast, blogs regularly at FplusMH.com, and is a sought-after speaker at international conferences.