Ken Long

How to Find Just the Right Resource for Helping a Friend in Need

January 27, 2017

Ken Long

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Ken Long

One of the most common questions shared among counselors is, “Do you have a good resource for helping someone dealing with….?” In fact, a good friend just asked me for a reference dealing with homosexuality. This is just an example of the many biblical counseling topics for which we ask one another to recommend helpful resources.

Using a Biblical Counseling Resource Center

When our friends are not around to ask for a recommendation, we can turn to a biblical counseling resource center that has an online search function. Since I serve with Grace Fellowship Church, GFC, in northern Kentucky, I know they have such a search engine associated with their Resource Center. They have about 400 books, booklets, and pamphlets dealing with topics of the biblical counseling movement. I happen to have more than a scholarly relationship with the Center, since my wife, Beth, oversees it. She tries to stock the Center with the best materials in our biblical counseling movement that would be helpful for both the counselee and the counselor.

Each item in the Center is listed on its website with a picture of the cover. Skimming the list of titles and cover graphics gives you a general view of what they may have on your topic. Serendipity is finding by surprise just what is needed when looking generally over a disparate group of items. So by skimming titles you might find by serendipity just the right resource to help in your counseling. Or you might find something for passing on to a friend struggling to think and act in a way that is pleasing to our God (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Doing a Search

A more expedient way to find just the right resource is to use the “Search” feature. If you are looking for something on homosexuality on the GFC Resource Center webpage, just enter “homosexuality” in the Search box. Doing this will yield a list of resources that deal exclusively with homosexuality, along with some that contain homosexuality mixed in with other topics. In fact, a sample search yielded 18 resources for consideration.

If your need is more specific, narrowing the search will yield only the materials that match with your need. For example, if you’re helping parents who are devastated by recently learning that their adult child is now practicing the homosexual lifestyle, enter “homosexuality parent.” For this narrowed sample search, four references were cited for consideration. Now it is easy to see exactly which book or booklet would be an encouragement to the hurting parent.

For me, once I know the booklet needed, I can just walk down the hall and purchase it. Since the Resource Center at GFC is not equipped to mail our materials, you will have to buy the book from some other source. But at least now you know what to order.

Another recommendation when searching for trusted resources is to use the Online Bookstore at Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana. Amy Baker has done an outstanding work in gathering valuable counseling resources. Simply use their topical or title “Search” feature, which was the model for our Grace Fellowship Church Resource Center website. The beauty of using this source for materials is that once a helpful reference is selected, it can be bought directly from Faith Church Bookstore online.

What are you looking for?

For which topic of life do you need a biblical counseling resource to help either yourself or someone you love? Try searching for it at one of the sources highlighted in the article. By God kindness, you may be quite surprised at how timely the resource you find is to the need.

Join the Conversation

What online resource options do you use?