Pastors are often content to delegate missionary interest to a committee. But he must take responsibility to know what missions is about and to guide the church’s involvement, prayers and financial support.
Timothy Lane was inaugurated as the new CCEF Executive Director on May 7, 2007. John Bettler, former CCEF executive director, spoke about servant leadership and the need for the servant to keep his eyes on the Master and cry for mercy. Other friends and work associates spoke of the significance of the inauguration vows: to love as Christ loved, to serve as Christ served. Craig Higgins offered the charge: to lead CCEF with self-giving love as modeled by Christ Himself. Tim Lane accepted the charge to lead CCEF and reminded everyone of CCEF’s mission: to apply the truths of the gospel in persuasive and compelling ways into the lives of people.
Biblical counseling is committed to counseling practice as a church based ministry, done by ministers and members, overseen by pastors and elders. The appearance of independent counselors is a recent development in the history of the Christian church. As such, there are no guidelines for their regulation based on standards of Christian truth, life, and ministry. A constructive approach to this situation is to view all independent counselors as if they acted as part-time church staff. This opens the door for appropriate due diligence in examining the counseling model and character of those who counsel independently
Broken, sinful people and broken, sinful pastors (no different than the rest of us) have the potential to create a broken church. Relationships in the church can be disappointing, excruciating, and devastating. But Christ works redemptive beauties in the midst of this reality. When all is said and done, the more you love God and His people, the more you enter His story, where His brokenness makes us beautiful, and where His wounds anchor our lives to each other.
A rapidly growing church brings blessings and challenges. Adding new church members reflects God at work. But biblical accountability on the part of the pastor and members for caring for these new members strains time, budget, methods, and sometimes faith. Is a bigger church building the answer? Are more staff members needed? Pastoral ministry requires interpersonal action, but not all of this work should be done by the pastors and leaders. Church leaders must equip the whole body of the church to help care for the struggling believers. The Growth and Ministry Model presented in this article shows how to do prepare church members to assist in the critical task of caring for struggling believers more effectively in a growing church.
“More than Counseling: A Vision for the Entire Church.” CCEF and JBC exist to restore Christ to counseling and counseling to the church. The articles in this issue of the Journal seek to broaden our understanding of the word ‘counseling’ to include everything the local church does. All ministries of the church, regardless of the size of the congregation, need to reflect a consistent message of change that focuses on Christ-centered sanctification.
The mission of the Journal of Biblical Counseling (JBC) is to develop clear thinking and effective practice in biblical counseling. We seek to do this through publishing articles that faithfully bring the God of truth, mercy and power to the issues that face pastoral ministries of counseling and discipleship. See subscription options here and Kindle editions here.
One Church’s Story demonstrates how change takes place in an established, mid-sized church when it truly understands Christ-centered change. At times, good, helpful church activities distract leaders and members from their true purpose and usurp Christ’s centrality in faith and work. This article urges that a church perform a self-evaluation and set goals in order to redirect energy, revitalize the mission, and return Christ to the center of worship.
Elders are called to more than administrative oversight and decision-making. Elders must also serve as wise shepherds of souls. In “Leadership Training: Shepherding Leaders to Shepherd the Flock,” Tony Giles considers how to train leaders so that they engage willingly, thoughtfully, and helpfully in the life problems of those people for whom they provide care. Of course, change starts first person. As elders personally grow in understanding, as the Spirit applies grace and truth to their own lives, they learn to participate in the same process with others.
How does a city church of 5000 people care for the individual spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of members of its congregation? It cannot let programs, facilities, and staff concerns interfere with interpersonal relationships of leaders and members. Andrea Mungo and Frances Nelson explore how personal ministry relationships can be enhanced in a large church. The gospel’s agenda of sanctification is a corporate project, not an individual achievement. While working with strugglers who seek help from the church, individuals who counsel see change in their own lives
“A Tribute to Pastor William Goode:” Funeral address describes unique aspects of Goode’s distinctively pastoral ministry. He was a “pastor to pastors” because he was approachable, he cared about pastors and their families, he listened, he made us laugh, he modeled pastoral ministry, he modeled a giving beyond the scope of his primary focus, and he confronted us with the Scriptures. Proverbs 23:23 : “Buy truth and sell it not.” He taught us to pay the price to get truth, and never to give up truth.
Can Fallen Pastors Be Restored? Armstrong believes that “permanent disqualification from pastoral ministry is the norm” for pastors to fall into sexual sin. He is fair with opposing arguments, and compassionate and practical about how to restore fallen pastors “to usefulness (but not to office).” The book would have been stronger with specific guidelines about which sexual sins should result in disqualification and about how to handle cases where someone could be requalified.
Pastors often fall into sexual sin not because they go looking for sexual sin but by falling into the “tenderness trap,” becoming emotionally involved with women they counsel. Traces the progression by which a fall gradually comes about. Gives 5 ground rules for avoiding the tenderness trap, and advice to those who have fallen and to fellow leaders. [In 14:3, p. 6, Chuck Bridger comments on this article.]