Our training will enable your church counseling team to provide three different levels of needed ministry to the church body:
1. Crisis Care
2. Personalized Discipleship
3. Biblical Counseling
In light of this, each mature believer on the team fulfills one or more of the following roles: Encouragers, Coaches, & Lead Counselors. The extent of each team member’s involvement is based on their availability, ability, and equipping. God has mature believers in your church that can effectively assist in these three vital aspects of intensive discipleship and counseling. We will give vision, equipping, structure, and ongoing maintenance to your church. We will provide all these at the level of assistance you need. (Read more about our different levels of church partnerships.) Let’s look at the three aspects and roles of the lay counseling team more closely.
1. Personal & Crisis Care is provided by the ENCOURAGERS.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 says we are to “encourage the faint-hearted” and “help the weak.” When we are going through a difficult time of suffering or loss we need personal encouragement and practical help specifically that we may not lose heart in our walk with God and the Christian life. We need biblical encouragement that we may persevere in faith and obedience (Hebrews 10:36). Relational care is one mature believer developing a relationship with another believer who is in some significant crisis for the purpose of providing biblical encouragement and practical help.
Examples: “I have lost heart because…”
“…I lost my child in a car accident.”
“…I was laid off at my job.”
“…I found out I have cancer.”
We call the person fulfilling this aspect of the lay-counseling team an Encourager. These Encouragers are those in the body of Christ who may have spiritual giftedness in areas like encouragement, helps, faith, and mercy. LCBCC equips God’s people to provide distinctly biblical encouragement. This means they will learn to share from the Word of God specific truths that give hope and perspective to the suffering, as they listen and demonstrate the love of God in Christ to that person. LCBCC equips God’s people to provide practical help that walks those in crisis through steps of obedience by faith that they need to take to move forward in tough times.
2. Personalized Discipleship is provided by a COACH
Generalized discipleship teaches biblical doctrine, spiritual disciplines, godly living, and Christ-like relationships through sermons, Sunday School, and small group ministry. This is foundational in any good church. But personalized discipleship is one mature believer developing a relationship with another believer to help him learn how to apply the Word in a particular area of deficiency:
Examples: “I don’t know…”
“…how to manage money and time, complete my basic household responsibilities, discipline my children.”
“…how to have a quiet time consistently and effectively.”
“…how to make wise decisions in this situation.”
“…how to pursue this in a God-honoring way (i.e. vocation, spouse, etc.)”
“…how to biblically communicate and resolve conflicts.”
We call the person fulfilling this aspect of the lay-counseling team a Coach. These Coaches are those in the body of Christ who may have spiritual giftedness in areas like exhortation, coupled with teaching and knowledge, or possibly administration. In personalized discipleship, these Coaches actually become a life coach to help the person in need develop specific godly habits in specific areas related to spiritual disciplines, relationships, and personal responsibilities. Matthew 28:18 instructs us in what is called the Great Commission of the church. The church is to “teach them to obey all that I commanded.” That is exactly what this aspect of the Shepherding Team is all about!
3. Biblical Counseling is provided by the LEAD COUNSELOR.
Biblical counseling is certainly all of the above as it does indeed involve providing care in the form of biblical encouragement and practical help, and personalized discipleship by providing coaching in how to apply the Word to a particular situation. But in some counseling situations, the presenting problems are often more complex and intense. Galatians 6:1 tells us that “you who are spiritual should restore (or mend) those who are caught in any sin.” Biblical counseling helps those who are in personal and relational challenges and are stuck or deeply entrenched in sinful emotions, attitudes, thoughts, or actions.
Examples: “I just can’t…”
“…stop blowing up…stop having anxiety attacks and worrying…stop feeling overwhelmed with shame and cutting myself…stop my sad feelings that keep me from fulfilling my responsibilities….”
“…stop being bitter at this person…stop fighting and quarreling….”
“…stay married to him or her.”
“…stop getting drunk, high, or sexually lusting and sinning.
We call the person fulfilling this aspect of the lay-counseling team a Lead Counselor. The Lead Counselor helps the person break free by applying the wisdom and power of Christ. These counselors would be those in the body of Christ who may have many of the other spiritual gifts mentioned but also possess spiritual gifts and potential towards wisdom, discernment, leadership, maybe even preaching (or what we might call persuasiveness). The person in counseling is a person who needs intensive, personalized discipleship. This is why some have called biblical counseling the ICU of the church (Galatians 4:19). The Lead Counselor certainly provides biblical care and coaching (like the aforementioned) but adds other dimensions to the work that requires a greater degree of biblical wisdom, spiritual persuasiveness, practical tools and strategies, and a broader knowledge of counseling case history in the particular area of need. Our training provides all of this.
The process we advise is a team approach. The Lead Counselor teams up with an Encourager or Coach who can help assist as they work together with those individuals in more complex and intense problems. The Encourager or Coach gives the person in counseling encouragement both in and after sessions to put homework assignments and new patterns of thought into practice. All members on the team begin as Encouragers and progress to Coaches (if this is their desire and giftedness) and eventually, through greater equipping and experience, serve as Counselors.
Let us know if you would like to see your church STEP UP
We believe our relationship with you will greatly assist you in the ministry of making disciples through counseling but will not overtask you. Care, Coaching, and Counseling in this manner give the opportunity to expand the kingdom of Christ and equip the people of God as it biblically addresses the problems of individuals and families. Our ministry does not just provide biblical care, coaching, and counseling, we multiply others in the local church to do this as well. LCBCC exists to restore counseling to those local churches who believe in the sufficiency of Christ and His Word and desire to use counseling as a means of grace and discipleship for their people.
This is the vision behind the three LCBCC Partnership Packages. These partnerships can be tailored to fit the distinct needs of your church. Set up a personal appointment to speak with our director or ministry administrator about your needs now. We are here to serve you and your church.
If you would like to set up an online or onsite discussion of this with me, CLICK HERE.
Nothing without Him,
Tim Bryant, Executive Director
If you are ready to become a partner CLICK HERE.
Our main goal is to mobilize biblical counseling through your church. Let’s do this together.