If you are going to be involved in ministering to women, the first piece of advise I have for you is to be loving as you listen and talk with them. Imitate Christ who was loving as He dealt with struggling people.
Be humble as you listen and evaluate the issues of the heart. Your thoughts will show on your face and in your body language. Think about this: if you were looking at you what would you see? Would you see an angry face, clenched teeth, or rolling eyes? Our reactions can indicate attitudes of pride and superiority to a counselee. Remember that you are as prone to sin the very same sins they bring to the table. If you were in the other chair, how would you want to be spoken to? What would prick your conscience?
Sometimes her problem will be one that you know you have but have not dealt with. God is gracious in that while you pray and prepare to minister to her you are also learning about yourself. You will discover more about your own heart than you ever imagined.
You will learn to preach truth to yourself as the Lord uses your time with her to convict your own heart of sin. If you hope to be a good counselor you will need to be God’s counselee. Therefore, you will get good at preaching truth to yourself.
As a counselor people will see you as a light for the blind and as a leader. I know there are some people who believe that leaders should be bullet proof, that they should never show weakness or be vulnerable. I disagree with this idea. I think it sets us up as somehow superior to the people we minister to. I have found that people respond much better to my counsel when they know that I am a real person, with real problems, just like them! I do not ever want to present myself as a person who has it all together or as some super Christian who has “leveled up” over them.
I would encourage you to pray about these things if you are considering being a discipleship counselor. It is a ministry that brings great rewards.
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