How to be a Minister

Helping Christian ministers through training, support services, commissioning, licensing and ordination.

Pastoral Counseling

The role of a pastoral counselor is different than that of the psychologist, psychiatrist or secular counselor. Yes, each is in the helping counselor000243profession and desires to assist people. However, the pastoral counselor is uniquely qualified to deal with presenting problems such as depression, anxiety or marital conflict from a spiritual perspective as well as the physical, mental and emotional. Pastoral counselors know that man was created with a spirit, soul and body and that each of these areas are affected by issues such as depression. Therefore, the method or modality of counseling that the pastoral counselor employs must be large enough to address not only the problem but how the problem affects each area of the person.

Pastoral counselors should be trained in theological matters as well as Christian counseling techniques. As they go through their training they must be aware of the secular philosophies that are so engrained in the field of counseling. In essence, the pastoral counselor should be trained in two disciplines rather than just one. These two also need to be kept in balance with the theological taking the primary position. The techniques that a Christian counselor uses should never violate spiritual truth.  

In addition to the intellectual training of the pastoral or Christian counselor there is a requirement for spiritual maturity. The counselor’s own walk with the Lord is a vital consideration that should not be passed over. It is, in fact, the greatest component or asset that they have. Pastoral counselors know that while they may show compassion or share a spiritual perspective it is really the Holy Spirit who is the counselor and does the work in the client. Without spiritual maturity it is difficult for the counselor to get themselves out of the way and hear what the Holy Spirit would like to say to the client.

When pastoral or Christian counseling is undertaken from this perspective it should show much more compassion, love, gentleness and hope than secular counseling. In addition to being loving and kind, Christian counseling involves the discovery of absolute truth. When this truth is discovered and followed the success rate is much higher because the individual is following divine truth rather that human philosophy.

Watch for the candidate conference call information in your email,


Rev. David M. Smuin

President

www.NCCChurch.org

@DaveSmuin

 

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Comments 7

Pastor Dave Smuin on Friday, 17 May 2013 13:38

The insights you share from the heart of the Lord are so very helpful. Greatly appreciate reading your blogs.

The insights you share from the heart of the Lord are so very helpful. Greatly appreciate reading your blogs.
Guest - Channing Knighton on Friday, 25 January 2013 03:04

I found the conference call tonight very helpful. When you asked us what makes our counseling Biblical my first thought was that it is holistic- addressing all of the domains of human beings- mind, body and spirit rather than treating the symptoms of the presenting problem like secular counseling. Like you mentioned in the above article, we have to address not only the problem but also how it impacts each area of the self. I also appreciated the practical insight on the financial aspects of maintaining a counseling ministry. Thanks Dr. Dave!

I found the conference call tonight very helpful. When you asked us what makes our counseling Biblical my first thought was that it is holistic- addressing all of the domains of human beings- mind, body and spirit rather than treating the symptoms of the presenting problem like secular counseling. Like you mentioned in the above article, we have to address not only the problem but also how it impacts each area of the self. I also appreciated the practical insight on the financial aspects of maintaining a counseling ministry. Thanks Dr. Dave!
Guest - Dr. Betsy Hall on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 03:39

I am fully convinced that as a Christian or pastoral Counselor, my relationship with the Lord is very crucial. In order to pour out, I must fill up. Feeding on the Word helps me experience Christian maturity, and people can tell whether or not we are faking it. Realizing that I cannot heal people that only God can, I humbly place my hurting clients in the Hand of the Healer.

I am fully convinced that as a Christian or pastoral Counselor, my relationship with the Lord is very crucial. In order to pour out, I must fill up. Feeding on the Word helps me experience Christian maturity, and people can tell whether or not we are faking it. Realizing that I cannot heal people that only God can, I humbly place my hurting clients in the Hand of the Healer.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Thursday, 17 January 2013 19:45

This is great timing for this post. I have recently been working on our marketing materials for our ministry. We have been trying to make it clear how we are different from secular counseling. I myself started in secular counseling and continue to work with an intensive daytreatment program for children, but I realized that the greatest healer can not be utulized in this setting. I am so excited to get our ministry started!

This is great timing for this post. I have recently been working on our marketing materials for our ministry. We have been trying to make it clear how we are different from secular counseling. I myself started in secular counseling and continue to work with an intensive daytreatment program for children, but I realized that the greatest healer can not be utulized in this setting. I am so excited to get our ministry started!
Guest - rev. dorothy-yorke alloway, phd on Thursday, 17 January 2013 14:18

Good one!!! I've sent it to all of my students and several clients as well.
See you in a few weeks!!!

Good one!!! I've sent it to all of my students and several clients as well. See you in a few weeks!!!
Guest - Henry Mohn on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 21:36

Dr. Dave - I agree with your post 100%. In particular, I believe that it is critical that the pastoral/Christian counselor displays the Fruit of the Spirit in their life. If the counselor does not have right relationship with God then we become the blind leading the blind.

It is also critical that the pastoral/Christian counselor has a thorough understanding of the Word of God and Jesus' perspective on life and relationship.

You have stated this accurately and concisely. Well done!

Dr. Henry

Dr. Dave - I agree with your post 100%. In particular, I believe that it is critical that the pastoral/Christian counselor displays the Fruit of the Spirit in their life. If the counselor does not have right relationship with God then we become the blind leading the blind. It is also critical that the pastoral/Christian counselor has a thorough understanding of the Word of God and Jesus' perspective on life and relationship. You have stated this accurately and concisely. Well done! Dr. Henry
Guest - Barbara O'Kane on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 20:27

Thank you so much for this conference call as well as all the others. I love the clear simplicity and encouragement of the message for those of us seeking to become loving, kind and godly pastoral counselors.

Thank you so much for this conference call as well as all the others. I love the clear simplicity and encouragement of the message for those of us seeking to become loving, kind and godly pastoral counselors.
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