Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation


A message from Ed Welch

This is the first installment of a dedicated CCEF page for pastors and ministry leaders. All are invited, but the content here will be geared to those of you in church ministry because of your unique calling and challenges.

Our goal is to encourage you in your pastoral care and counsel, to keep you informed about what is happening in the world of counseling, and offer strategies for equipping your church for the ministry of mutual care. We plan to send you a package of digital materials each month. It might include short book reviews, podcasts, articles, pieces to distribute to your church, or conference talks by our faculty and others.

This first package will serve as a foundation for what is to come. We are making available six articles written by CCEF faculty that appeared in the Journal of Biblical Counseling. If you are new to biblical counseling these will help you to get oriented, and if you are not new, perhaps you will find something here you have not considered before. The six articles are:

  1. The Pastor as Counselor by David Powlison. David makes the case that pastors counsel by virtue of their daily interaction with their congregation. He describes that counsel and contrasts it with the modern psychotherapies.
  2. Understanding the Influences on the Human Heart by Mike Emlet. This article provides a theological guide that identifies how things both come out of the heart and come at the heart. Too often we can miss critical influences that shape the person we want to help. The result is that people go unheard and we miss opportunities to offer God’s care and compassion.
  3. How Does Scripture Change You? by David Powlison. This piece has progressive sanctification in view, which is a key doctrine in biblical counseling. No quick fixes, nothing simplistic, but the Spirit through the Word really does change us.
  4. How to Talk with Someone about Sin was written by me. It considers how sin is hard to talk about—especially among friends and family. I offer some guidelines for all of us.
  5. Counseling is the Church by David Powlison. This article will get you thinking about the place of pastoral care and counsel in your denomination and ordination process. In order to grow in our care of souls, we too must grow, yet certain institutional traditions must also be refined.
  6. Ten Questions to Ask before Starting a Counseling Ministry in Your Church by David Powlison. As the title implies, this article offers guiding questions for churches to consider when discussing a possible counseling ministry. You might be surprised that he is not necessarily advocating that such a ministry be the goal for your church.

These articles will help answer the question: What is biblical counseling? We know that in some ways, even using the word counseling is cumbersome because it suggests something professional and scheduled—just for the experts. But we think of biblical counseling as wise conversations in which we join the daily struggles of life with the many words and promises of God that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For you who work in the church, It is what you do every day.

Welcome to CCEF for Pastors.

The articles are available below and will be present on this page for the foreseeable future. Work through them at your own pace.

Notice also that we are asking for your suggestions for future content on the form located further down. We look forward to hearing from you.


Free Articles: From the Journal of Biblical Counseling

The Pastor as Counselor

Understanding the Influences of the Human Heart

How Does Scripture Change You?

How to Talk about Sin

Counseling is the Church

Ten Questions to Ask Before Starting a Counseling Ministry

What topics do you want to hear about?

Please email us at [email protected] with any questions or fill out the form below.