5 Essentials of a Biblical Counselor

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What are the five essentials of a biblical counselor?

Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a lay biblical counselor. Maybe you’d like to begin a counseling ministry at your church. Either way, you need to know the five essential characteristics of an effective biblical counselor.

Now Is the Time

As our culture snakes into dark sinful patterns, an effective biblical counselor can speak hope of the gospel into the life of the hurting. Biblical Counseling Center gets calls and emails everyday from folks who want our highest quality and affordable biblical counselor training program, also called the Lay Counseling Certificate program. They want to make a difference.

This passage shares the heartbeat of an effective biblical counselor. Listen for the five essentials as you read.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17, ESV

What about you? Do you have the essentials of the effective biblical counselor? Let’s find out.

1. People Are a Priority

People are a priority to the effective biblical counselor (3:12-14). Paul reminds us that believers in Christ reflect a new way of life. They show a new love, forgiveness and patience for others. They build up others. An effective biblical counselors manages their own relationships well and value healthy relationships in the body.

2. You Have Peace with God

The effective biblical counselor experiences peace with God through the gospel (3:15). A biblical counselor cannot pass on hope if they fail to live within the reality of hope themselves. Lasting hope comes through the gospel of peace, a truth which a biblical counselor esteems. The gospel changes lives. Changed lives hope in Christ. An effective biblical counselor has a changed life; he or she knows hope personally.

3. You Love the Word

The effective biblical counselor has a passion for the Word (3:16). He or she knows that the Word of Christ is the wonderful truth of redemption through faith in Christ. The Word is their nourishment, which they savor and eagerly pass on to others.

4. You Desire Practical Wisdom

An effective biblical counselor wisely teaches about the practical way life works(3:16). Biblical counseling could be aptly defined by the phrase “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” The counselor aims to relate biblically to God and others. He or she warns about pitfalls, demonstrates relational skills, and shares life experiences that minister God’s Word effectively.

5. You Live Out Praise

An effective biblical counselor lives out passionate praise for God (3:16b-17). He or she has a new heart song singing the joy of the gospel, pointing others to Christ as the answer because they whole-heartedly believe and live out that reality. Wonderfully, the most effective biblical counselor was often restored from sin or suffering and now ministers with authentic gratitude toward God, confident in the power of God to change lives.

A Next Step

Are you interested in becoming a lay biblical counselor? We invite you to prayerfully consider our Lay Counseling Certificate Program and sign up. Do you want to begin a Biblical Counseling ministry in your church? Our experienced staff will come alongside you and provide training. Contact us.

photo credit: CTJ Online via photopin cc

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