We have seen that the Scriptures were given to us... for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16,17). The Bible is the book God has provided to guide us in counseling and it includes all that is needed to bring about the change required to live a life pleasing to God. Surely that very fact would cause us to realize the importance of the pastor's being involved in a counseling ministry.
Theoretical Perspectives to Biblical Counseling
As a Bible-believing pastor, one must make certain that their counseling is either directly based upon Scripture or is in harmony with it. One's theological tenets will greatly affect his counseling. It has been my experience over the years as with other pastors, of being a major source of counseling. The pastor is often the first, and sometimes the only, professional person to whom people go for comfort and counsel. Surveys prove that 42% of the people with problems would prefer to seek out a pastor. The pastor has the kind of readymade atmosphere for counseling that most others do not have (Adams, 1970).
The Definition of Pastoral Counseling:
The pastor is a poimen (shepherd), a presbuteros (elder) and anepiskopos (overseer). He is a mature Christian whom God has placed over his people. His appointment and ordination is a recognition of the divine call upon his life. His responsibilities include evangelizing ( II Timothy 4:5), leading by example ( Peter 5:3), teaching, admonishing, rebuking, warning, training, edifying, and restoring. His primary ministry is the preaching and teaching of the Word of God (II Timothy 4:2). But in the midst of all of this is the very important ministry of counseling.
The designation "pastoral counseling" is limited primarily to the pastoral use of the Word of God in restoring sick or distressed members of the flock of God. Such counseling involves a decision to deal with an individual to alleviate his distress in a particular way. It is to help the person think differently, biblically and feel differently about a whole area or several areas of his life. It is the use of the Word of God to bring about change in the person's thinking, feeling, and actions, and to help him realize in his own experience the abundant life that Christ promised (John 10:10).
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