In a recent JBC article entitled "The Pastor as Counselor," David Powlison encourages and exhorts pastors to hold with serious conviction their call to engage people personally and thoughtfully in wise pastoral ministry. He writes,
The following is a classic discussion from Dr. Mike Emlet on how to begin to understand people as body and soul, and how wise love is sensitive to both. He begins with a few minutes on how to understand psychiatric diagnoses, and then broadens to discuss people as embodied souls and how that understanding informs thoughtful ministry.
This was one of the first resources I found from CCEF on the topic, and it helpfully shaped how I understood myself and others. At about thirty minutes long, it is perfect for listening through in a single sitting.
“'I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.' Our forerunners in Christian faith showed good sense when they articulated the core of fidelity to God’s Word written and incarnate. Attentive to Scripture’s emphases, the framers of the ancient, abiding creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian) chose to trace the shape of the triune God’s person, work, and promises. They made no direct mention of the roiling complex of evil: flesh, world, devil.
Sam Williams recently posted on The Gospel Coalition blog engaging the question: "Would there be value for biblical counselors to pursue PhD work outside Christian institutions, and what challenges would they face?" He answers, "There are two good answers to the question above: no and yes." Williams warns against putting oneself in such a context while lacking critical biblical and theological knowledge.
The church is growing increasingly wise in its contemporary setting to articulate and practice a properly biblical and modern ministry. Scripture directs us from within its pages in its unique and comprehensive vision of ministry and change. It simultaneously directs us in processing the insights within culture, literature, and the psychologies that have been provided to us from beyond its pages.
"A friend was discussing a counseling situation with me in which he seemed unusually tentative. Though he was thinking clearly and wisely, and he had counseled others in very similar circumstances, he seemed intimidated.
This week’s Help and Hope podcast equips those who want to act redemptively in the life of someone who struggles with bipolar disorder. Listen to learn what it can look like to walk alongside the struggler and be strategic in providing effective interventions and long-term care.