But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 1 Corinthians 12:20-1 Corinthians 12:22 (NASB)
The work of a Biblical Counselor is not a glorious part of ministry. In fact, I would contend that it is a rather lowly part of the body in light of some of the other “members” responsibilities and tasks. Biblical Counselors typically meet the lowest of the low from a societal viewpoint. We are charged with loving the unlovable people and all the “problem children” in the family. I have had many people say to me over the years that they cannot understand how I do what I do and enjoy it.
It is true that the ministry of one-to-one intensive discipleship is often focused on the weaker members of our body. We are often given the cases that no one else can solve, or we are sent members that have benefited from months or years of wise counsel and have not made any lasting shift in their thoughts, beliefs, or desires.
These are often the most frustrating people to deal with because many times these folks have sat under not only excellent preaching and teaching, but also have consumed hours and hours of the Pastor’s time in some sort of counseling with little result to show for it. It is at this point that the majority of Pastors will suggest the person seek professional help and send them to the local therapist or psychologist. This is exactly the wrong move to make.
I am not going to judge the motives for such a suggestion when it is made, even though I have personally seen Pastors who are just anxious to wash their hands of such people do so. I have also seen others who consider referring them to a secular source a good move. In reality, they are throwing away these people and subjecting them to a humanistic system based on the disease model. They are placing their trust in an anti-God, anti-Bible system that is designed to remove a need for God and a belief in God from our lives.
It is the responsibility of the church to meet these hurting souls where they are at which is why every church worth its salt has a ministry of one-to-one discipleship (Biblical Counseling). It is not the place or the responsibility of the medical or psychological professionals to be dabbling in the souls of men, it is the job of the church and her people.
This is why church leaders need to take seriously the call to train their own people or to provide the means to have them trained to counsel biblically. We live in a unique time in history where virtually everything is available on line or as distance training, so there is not always a need for people to travel to be trained. What is needed, is that they are trained.
God has blessed the people in our ministry as we have had numerous opportunities to be a part of the heart change process in the lives of people multiple times over the years. It is not easy work, often it is very difficult, very time consuming, and in some cases it seems as though you are working all day and all night too! But this is a vital part of the ministry of the church, and it is soul-care. We are each charged with the very same things in the Bible.
I understand the fear factor, and the need to be somewhat educated. You will have to work hard, and you may be required to step out of your comfort zone.
so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 1 Corinthians 12:25 (NASB)
We are to care for one another and there are just times it requires we get a little dirty as we go after a wandering Christian. It is a dirty job, but someone as to do it! Will you?
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