Training Category: People Helping Ministry
In some regards, yes, any believer fulfilling the one another commands of Scripture not only can, but will be a counselor. Undoubtedly a significant portion of professional counseling could be eliminated if the church was committed to living out the ‘one another’ commands of Scripture.
. . . admonish one another . . . bear one another’s burdens . . . build up one another . . . care for one another . . . comfort one another . . . confess faults to one another . . . encourage one another . . . spur one another on
Surely, in this kind of dynamic atmosphere, healing and change would occur. People would find the church to be a safe place, among those who accept one another.
The intent of this post, however, is not to provide a dissertation on the pros and cons of professional counseling. Nor is the objective to provide in-depth coverage of clinical counseling or abnormal psychology. The intent is to help church leaders and workers to more effectively counsel in the normal course of ministry — pastoral, lay, or peer counselors.
Spiritual Gifts in a Lay Counselor
While we can can be involved in counseling others as we live out the one another commands of Scripture, there are those who are gifted to come alongside of people in a more concerted or intentional way. People with the gift of exhortation may find themselves in this role more than those without that gift.
Qualities in a Good Lay Counselor
ability to empathize
ability to listen
The People Helping Ministry Manual includes a section on counseling with this content as well as some input on each of the above qualities. Other topics in that section: