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.
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?
Browse the CCEF website to learn more about their materials and courses. But learn below about CCEF's counselors, and get their take on important topics in counseling today. We also asked Pastor Michael Lawrence why every pastoral intern he oversees reads one particular CCEF book.
Pastor Deepak Reju gets the ball rolling by considering the advantages of bringing counseling back into the local church and by situating counseling under the larger umbrella of discipleship.
COUNSELING IN THE CHURCH
Five Advantages of Church-Based Counseling
Here are five reasons why churches shouldn't be so quick to "refer out" their counseling.
By Deepak Reju
Counseling and Discipleship
How are a church's ministry of counseling and discipleship related?
By Deepak Reju
Why Every Pastor-in-Training Should Read Ed's Book
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.
Twenty Ways to Cultivate a Culture of Counseling in Your Church
By Jonathan Leeman and Deepak Reju
LEARN FROM THE COUNSELING PROS AT CCEF
Looking at the Past and Present of Counseling
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
Cultivating a Culture of Counseling and Discipleship
Tim Lane talks about counseling from the pulpit, the ideal church, recovery groups, promoting discipleship, and more.
An interview with Tim Lane
Sorting Out the Spiritual and the Physical in Counseling
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
Premarital Counseling, Pornography, and Marriage
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
What Should Pastors Do with Fear, Medication & Addiction
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
Book Review: Churches that Make a Difference, by Ronald J. Sider, Philip N. Olson, and Heidi Rolland Unruh
Reviewed by Flynn Cratty
Book review: The Multiplying Church, by Bob Roberts Jr.
Reviewed by Lance Quinn
Book Review: Who Can Save the Incredible Shrinking Church? by Frank Page
Reviewed by Owen Strachan
Life & Ministry with David Powlison
Posted October 25, 2008
David Powlison shares about his conversion, his view of counseling, his quick take on multiple books, and more.
Church Planting with Mike McKinley
Posted September 25, 2008
Mark Dever asks church planter Mike McKinley about the travails of planting and why we should plant churches WITHOUT a vision statement.