CNLP 002: How Perry Noble Hit Bottom While Pastoring One of America’s Largest Churches & How He Battled Back

Anxiety. Depression. Simply feeling overwhelmed.

Ever been there as a leader?

Welcome to Episode 2 of the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. In this episode, I interview Perry Noble, Lead Pastor of NewSpring Church.

Perry Noble had all the markings of success—one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America and a great family—but as his inner world crumbled, he ending up feeling like he wanted to kill himself.

He tells an amazing story of how he overcame anxiety and depression to keep leading.

Perry Noble

About Perry

Perry is the Lead and Founding Pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson South Carolina. Launch in 2000 with 15 people, it now reaches over 35,000 people on the weekend at 11 campuses.

Perry is a husband, father, author, frequent conference speaker and blogs at

Guest Links: Perry Noble

Find and follow Perry Noble and NewSpring here:

NewSpring Church

The Perry Noble Leadership Podcast

Perry on Twitter

Perry on Facebook

Perry on Instagram

People and Resources Mentioned in This Episode

The links, people and resources mentioned in this episode include:

Book: Overwhelmed by Perry Noble

Overwhelmed Sermon Series 2014 (5 week series)

Spanx, Sickness and Suicide Message.

Overwhelmed Sermon Series 2013Win the Battle with Depression Message (on suicide)

9 Signs You’re Burning Out In Leadership by Carey Nieuwhof

How I Recovered From Burnout: 12 Keys to Getting Back by Carey Nieuwhof

Here’s a list of Perry’s blog posts on anxiety, depression and suicide:

Should Christians Take Medication for Mental Illness?

5 Practical Things to Consider Before Taking an Anti-Depressant.

3 Things Moms Should Consider when Feeling Overwhelmed.

5 Things Every Single Person Should Consider.

4 Things To Do When You Experience a Freak-out.

Overwhelmed Because of Your Past?

I’m Fat.

Five Myths About Anxiety and Depression

Do You Want to Kill Yourself?

7 Practical Ways to Overcome Anxiety.

Am I Still a Christian If I Have Depression?

Here are my (Carey’s) posts on my personal burnout:

9 Signs you’re Burning Out

How I Recovered from Burnout: 12 keys to Getting Back

7 Painful Truths About Leadership and Burnout

Lunch With Carey in Washington or Indy || Orange Tour 2014

2014 Orange Tour

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Washington DC Orange Tour Stop

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Indianpolis Orange Tour Stop

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Perry’s  interview was full of great advice.

While there’s so much you could do after listening to Perry’s story, here are 3 things you can do this week:

1. Tell Someone. Telling someone you’re struggling with being overwhelmed, or with anxiety, depression or suicide is the first step toward breaking the power those emotions have over you. You don’t need to be ashamed. Telling someone is the first step to breaking the power of depression.

2. See a Doctor and Biblical Counsellor. Getting professional help will help you get better. Both Perry and Carey have both seen Christian counselors over the years who have helped them stay healthy in leadership over the long run.  Please know neither Perry or Carey are trained counsellors. I strongly recommend you talk to your medical doctor and a trained biblical counsellor.

3. Be Transparent.  People identify more with your struggles than your victories. If you let them know that you struggle, it will help them in their struggles.

Quotes From Perry


Exciting News: The Podcast Is Now Weekly!

Great news! Many of you had asked if the podcast could become a weekly podcast.

Well, as of this week…we’re going weekly!

I’m delighted to let you know there will be a fresh episode on your device every Tuesday morning moving forward.

That’s a great reason to subscribe now.

Now Live on Stitcher

Good news! The podcast is available on Stitcher. If you’re an Android user, Stitcher is one of the easiest ways to listen. Here’s the link.

You’ll soon be able to get the podcast on TuneIn Radio as well. You can follow the show here, and the Episodes should be live soon.


Next Episode: Casey Graham

In the next episode, I interview Casey Graham, founder and CEO of the Rocket Company on what business leaders can learn from church leaders and what church leaders can learn from business leaders.

The Rocket Company was recently named to the Inc. 5000 list and was Infusion Soft’s 2013 Marketer of the year. Don’t miss Casey’s incredible insights for both church and business leaders.

Episode 003 goes live Tuesday, September 30th.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes by clicking here.

Did this Help You? Rate us on iTunes!

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review!

Can’t thank you enough! Almost 70 ratings already on the US iTunes store and over 20 in Canada. Keep em coming. 🙂 Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners.

Thank you!


  1. […] waited way too long. I remember Perry Noble sharing about his first battle with burnout. He said, “I waited too long to get help.” If I have a regret, that’s it. I was […]

  2. Ben McClary on August 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    On the “having to hide from people when you’re taking time off” note: when I was on vacation with my wife and four young children, I got a text message from someone in my church to tell me a member of their family had just received an illness diagnosis. When I didn’t respond promptly, I got another message asking whether I cared. I responded that I did care and I would come visit with them the day after my vacation. I was met with a response of “let me know when you are on the clock for jesus.” How do you deal with a person after that? I have only taken two vacations in three years and both were marred by electronic communications from church people accusing me of not being present enough. 🙁

  3. Brent Calvin Silberbauer on July 1, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Do you have any recommendations for good counselors for Pastors to talk to?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on July 2, 2015 at 6:25 am

      Brent…I wish I did. I think you’ll have to check out local trusted sources. Sorry!

      • Brent Calvin Silberbauer on July 2, 2015 at 8:56 am

        Carey… Thanks for responding! I should of been more specific. Do you know of any counselors who use Skype or FaceTime? Do you know of any pastor retreat centers for intensive week or two week sessions that are really effective?

        • Carey Nieuwhof on July 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm

          I don’t know about virtual counsellors, but seriously, google the Pastors of Excellence Program at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. A huge reason I’m still in ministry today. They help pastors rebuild emotionally and spiritually every year. Top notch.

          • Brent Calvin Silberbauer on July 2, 2015 at 4:20 pm

            Thanks Carey, you’re making a huge difference in the church. I listen to all your podcasts and am very thankful for your ministry. God bless!

          • Carey Nieuwhof on July 3, 2015 at 8:53 am

            Thanks Brent!

  4. Renters Reference Services is on May 25, 2015 at 4:53 am

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  5. Janet on March 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

    So honest and insightful. Thank you. I really appreciated the sharing of these personal experiences. So many of the things Perry said had me nodding along saying YES. WOW.

    Eye opening: “We allow everyone else to define what an emergency is for us.”

  6. Pastors and Depression | TOOMUCHSTARBUCKS.COM on October 3, 2014 at 5:04 am

    […] above was taken from carey nieuwhof’s blog as he introduced an interview he ran on his brand new podcast. shanna and i listened to this […]

  7. Eric Oppenhuizen on October 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Wow, this was so timely! I literally listened to this on the way home from a conversation with a mentor who told me I was operating at a dangerous rhythm. What really caught my ear from Perry was his answer to the question “What do you do for fun?” to which he responded “Work out.” That has been my answer and even that has been slipping.

    Carey also hit on the guilt associated with taking time off. I have really wrestled with this as well.

    I really appreciate this podcast!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on October 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Eric. Thanks so much! So glad it helped. The guilt thing is huge, isn’t it? Wow!

      • Rose Skinner on July 14, 2020 at 10:28 pm

        Very informative, inspiring and transparent. Lots of comments to ponder upon and love the advice on leaning into hope. Thank you for sharing your very personal testimony. Blessings Rose

  8. […] on my Leadership Podcast, I release a new episode with Perry Noble about the burnout, depression and anxiety he has gone […]

  9. Chris Shumate on September 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I got so many nuggets from this podcast. I will list the ones you didn’t above:

    The Bible calls people who will not work lazy, but He calls those who will not rest disobedient.

    Just because the Devil never takes a day off doesn’t mean we can’t. The Devil is not our example, Jesus is. (paraphrasing)

    It’s okay to not be okay. It’s just not okay to stay that way.

    The church is not effective when the pastor ministers to the people. The church is effective when the body ministers to the body.

    A lot of people have been forgiven for their sin, but they haven’t been healed because they’ve never confessed it. (When Perry refers to James 5:16)

    What you, Carey, said about signs of burnout being when our heart isn’t working, “When you don’t feel the highs and you don’t feel the lows anymore.”

    I enjoyed how he talked about people in the Bible struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Hopefully the people who thinks it’s not Biblical to have struggles will listen to this interview and read their Bible to see depression is real, even for the faithful in Christ.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on September 26, 2014 at 5:12 am

      Chris this is awesome! Thanks! If you ever want to listen to an episode in advance and pull quotes, let me know. 🙂 So good!

  10. Jon Stallings on September 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Great podcast Carey, Appreciated Perry being “real” with his struggles.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on September 26, 2014 at 5:13 am

      Jon…thanks so much man! Appreciate you and your leadership.

  11. […] CNLP 002: How Perry Noble Hit Bottom While Pastoring One of America’s Largest Churches & H… […]

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