We know counseling ain't easy. Polls show that most pastors prefer the pulpit to the counselor's chair. Not only are the problems people bring intractably complex and heart-rending, they consume vast quantities of time.Here are the articles (full PDF version here):
Yet we hope this issue of the 9Marks eJournal will do two things for you, pastor: encourage you to look for ways to bring counseling into your local church, and introduce you to an incredible resource, the individuals and materials at the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF). Both parts of CCEF's vision statement nail it on the head: "Restoring Christ to counseling and counseling to the church." Is your counseling Christ-centered or moralistic? And how are you cultivating a culture of counseling and discipleship in your church?
Here are five reasons why churches shouldn't be so quick to "refer out" their counseling.
By Deepak Reju
How are a church's ministry of counseling and discipleship related? By Deepak Reju
Every Capitol Hill Baptist Church pastoral intern is required to read Ed Welch's book When People Are Big and God is Small. 9Marks asks Michael Lawrence why.
By Jonathan Leeman and Deepak Reju
Can biblical counseling draw from the Puritans? How are churches today doing at counseling? What is CCEF doing that's unique? An interview with David Powlison
Tim Lane talks about counseling from the pulpit, the ideal church, recovery groups, promoting discipleship, and more. An interview with Tim Lane
Former medical doctor and now CCEF instructor Michael Emlet discusses his own background and what pastors should make of the mind-body connection in their counseling. An interview with Michael Emlet
Today's buzzword for marriages is "compatibility." But counselors and couples need more wisdom than that, especially as pornography attacks marriage like never before. An interview with Winston Smith
Welch considers questions like, Should pastors give more thought to fear? Are psychiatric medications unbiblical? Should pastors keep their hands off the psychiatric issues? An interview with Ed Welch
A new 9 Marks interview with David Powlison in which he discusses his conversion, counseling views, and assorted books is also available for listening online or downloading here.