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Pastors spend much of their time counseling people in crisis—a delicate task that requires one to carefully evaluate each situation, share relevant principles from God’s Word, and offer practical suggestions for moving forward. Too often, however, pastors feel unprepared to effectively shepherd their people through difficult circumstances such as depression, adultery, eating disorders, and suicidal thinking. Written to help pastors and church leaders understand the basics of biblical counseling, this book provides an overview of the counseling process from the initial meeting to the final session. It also includes suggestions for cultivating a culture of discipleship within a church and four appendixes featuring a quick checklist, tips for taking notes, and more.
With many unknowns, variables, and complexities behind how individual people struggle with sin and all the effects of the fall, the reality of counseling feels overwhelming and burdensome. As such, this primer on the pastors role in counseling is a must–read for several reasons. First, this book is a must–read because it reminds pastors of our biblical responsibility and PRIVILEGE to shepherd Gods sheep. As a pastor, I was re–convicted and re–challenged to follow Jesus in personally loving and caring for His sheep. Second, this book is a must–read because it provides a clear, concise, biblical, Gospel–centered, and PRACTICAL framework for counseling Gods people. I was not left wondering how to apply the wonderful truths I learned to real life, with real people, in real counseling situations. Chapters 4–6 and the appendixes were particularly helpful for me as the authors were very down to earth to walk us through the nitty–gritty details of the process of counseling. Third, this book is a must–read because it sets our role as pastors within the broader PLAN of God to shepherd His sheep. The focal point of Gods redemptive plan is not pastors, but the church Christ shed His blood for. Pastors are simply one part of that plan. God has called pastors not to do all the work of ministry, but to equip the saints for the work of personal ministry. With that said, I was personally challenged to invest more of my time building a culture of discipleship and members caring about the spiritual welfare of other members. Fourth, this book is a must–read because it roots our hope, power, and confidence in the only One worthy of it: God, in and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed in Gods Word, and applied by the power of the Holy Spirit. Counseling must be Word–driven and bathed in prayer. And, this book helps me remember that Jesus Christ is the means and the goal of change.
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