God call you to counsel other Christians. Did you know this? Does it surprise you or scare you?
You may think, it’s best to heed the old saying: Don’t stick your nose in others’ business.
In most circumstances and relationships, these are wise words to follow. After all, the private part of our lives needs to remain. . .respectfully private.
But there is an appropriate time to “stick your nose into my business.”
Let’s examine a scenarios to understand biblical principles that guide us.
“Average Joe” or “Average Susie” is perhaps a member of your Sunday School class, your small group, or someone you notice struggling emotionally at the end of a church service. This person lingers behind as the crowd leaves, perhaps hoping someone would still see him and come alongside with compassion, encouragement, and counsel.
Who is going to get involved with Joe or Susie?
YOU ARE! Because God commands you to.
That’s right! Galatians 6:1 places the responsibility on believers to come alongside the hurting, to gain the confidence of another believer. God calls you to counsel. Listen–
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1, ESV
With meekness he is to give compassionate counsel, often called intense, personalized discipleship, to hurting people who struggle in some area of life.
Isn’t It the Pastor’s Job to Counsel?
You may say, “But isn’t it the pastor’s and elders’ responsibility to help the hurting?”
The answer to that question is “yes,” but only because they are members of the body, just like you are. The pastor was never expected to counsel everyone in his congregation. All believers at various levels of spiritual maturity are to help by bearing burdens, troubles, and spiritual problems of other believers. More from Galatians–
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2, ESV
Scripture describes the process as setting a broken bone and mending a fishing net with holes. Neither a broken bone nor a fishing net with holes can fulfill the purpose for which it was made. The bone needs setting and the net needs mending. Those words metaphorically illustrate the responsibility and involvement of every believer to help restore brothers to their original created purpose.
And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. Mark 1:19, ESV
3 Reasons Why Believers Don’t Counsel
There are three reasons why some believers don’t get involved in restoring brothers in Christ.
1. Many believers don’t understand that God has given them a unique responsibility to this One Another ministry among hurting brothers.
2. There are other believers who ignore their responsibility altogether just like the priest and Levite who chose to pass by the brother in need in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
3. Then there are those who just don’t know how to restore a brother struggling in his Christian walk. In many cases it’s not because they don’t have the heart to help, because they do! They just don’t know how but would like to learn.
The HOW of Counsel
If you’ve never been taught how to counsel, or just didn’t know God calls you to counsel, you may be fearful to think about doing it. Fifty percent of the fear leaves when you understand some foundational elements in the counseling/discipleship process. The other fifty percent dissipates when you have confidence that the sufficient Word of God has the answers to set any bone or mend any net in the person’s life that you are helping.
If you desire basic training, the Foundations of Biblical Counseling course is right for you. Go here to see details on Foundations.
When you learn how to counsel, you will develop a confidence as a lay counselor. You’ll know how to engage a hurting brother like Joe or a hurting sister like Susie.
Do you want more information about becoming a competent and compassionate counselor?
Are you hurting and would like help from a counseling at Biblical Counseling Center?
Please contact us. We care.