Jeff Temple now serves at the Pastor of Counseling and Discipleship at Crosspoint Chapel in Saginaw, Michigan. Jeff served on the BCC staff for nearly 20 years prior to moving to Michigan. He thinks deeply about how the gospel impacts all of life and serves as guest blogger for BCC.
Jeff Temple M.A.
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Equipping Counselors for your Church
Most of us have heard that we live in a therapeutic culture, which is true. But can you define therapeutic? It’s having or exhibiting healing powers. Our culture emphasizes therapy because we recognize that life is not completely as we hoped and that we can become miserable and dissatisfied. Therefore, we are barraged
with offers of herbal supplements, fast-track diets, life coaches, magic pills, self-help psychology, etc. that promise healing if we listen to the wisdom of this world. But ultimately we are further enticed away from true healing.
The answer is not in therapy that the world offers, but in what the church is called to be, a hospital for lost and wounded souls. A lot of churches recognize the problems of their people and have attempted to find resources for the Christian who seeks therapy. But most attempts by churches are ineffective because their people haven’t been trained to see the big picture. As ineffective counseling fails, people are left to go back to the world's offerings.
Equipping Counselors for your Church is a book to help us see the big picture. It is intended to lay a foundation for future generations by teaching our generation how to minister to one another, and then to leave a legacy to be emulated. This means it is people focused and program driven. Remember that Biblical counseling is about changing people into the image of Christ through personal interaction.
Dr. Kellemen has a lengthy history as a Biblical counselor and consultant to churches. It is through his experience of success and failure that he has been able to see the big picture. He summarizes the big picture with 4E’s: Envisioning God's ministry; Enlisting God's ministers for ministry; Equipping God's ministers for ministry; and Empowering Godly ministers for ministry. These are essential for the church to have a lasting effect for future generations. Most counseling ministries in churches fail because an emphasis has been on only one or some of these essential ministries.
To help churches build a lasting legacy, Dr. Kellemen has included a guide to aid in the discussion and application of the 4E’s. In addition, he provided ample resources so that churches can equip and sustain compassionate ministers and lay counselors. He sees the big picture through years of experience and wisdom, and has written a go-to manual to help the church of Christ to love one another. Agape is not passive love, but active, just as counseling is active. Agape is the "therapy" for which the church should be known, loving one another enough to help a struggling disciple change for God’s glory.
— reviewed by Jeff Temple, M.A.
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