Counseling Mushrooms and Oak Trees

Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer

Counseling is an encounter with what we call in our vernacular, “presenting issues.” Any good biblical counselor knows that presenting problems typically express deeper heart-based concerns. These “roots” are what get our attention, and hopefully our ministry efforts as well. But even in looking at heart issues in counseling I find it tempting to expect oak-sized change with mushroom-like immediacy. Continue reading

Growing Compassionate Counsel Through Imagination

Curtis Solomon

Curtis Solomon

Compassion is one of my favorite words. The etymology of the word points to the basic meaning of “suffering together.” In Ephesians 4:32 the word that is sometimes translated “compassionate” can also be translated “tender-hearted.” We are called to have soft, tender hearts towards those we counsel. We are to enter into the suffering of the people we are seeking to minister to. We are to weep with those who are weeping (Rom. 12:15). But how do we do this with someone whose situation or struggle is completely foreign to us? My encouragement today: use your imagination. Continue reading

Responding to the Shame after a Relapse into Sin

Jeff Forrey

Jeff Forrey

Jim’s wife of eight years, Rachael, was shocked to discover he’d been regularly viewing Internet porn for about two months. In all their years together, he had seemed like an upright Christian man with strong morals. After Jim had started meeting with their pastor, Paul, he’d stopped viewing Internet porn. So, Rachael and Pastor Paul were surprised and dismayed all over again when they learned Jim had gone to an adult bookstore to purchase pornographic material in print, instead!

Suppose, however, that Jim reports incredible shame over his behavior at this point. Continue reading

What’s the Secret to Change?

Have you ever had the experience while counseling where you’ve shown your counselees how the Scriptures apply to their everyday life week after week, but then they look in at you in frustration and essentially say, “What’s the secret? What are you not telling me? Why isn’t this working?” Or perhaps you’ve had that in… Read More» Continue reading

Our Growth in Grace Is a Community Journey

Bob Kellemen

Bob Kellemen

Everyone wants to change and grow, but all too frequently we miss the biblical context for growth—the church. The world often tells us, “It takes a village.” God’s Word consistently informs us, “It takes a church.” We can summarize the biblical message like this: Our Growth in Grace Is a Community Journey. Do you want to grow in grace? The Bible teaches that it happens in the Body of Christ. Continue reading