I picked on youth pastors and seminaries – now, I’m picking on my own field: biblical counseling. Is biblical counseling hurting or helping the church?
Well, that depends. In terms of informal biblical counseling of one Christian loving another Christian, biblical counseling is necessary for all Christians – both to do and to receive. In other words, we all need to hear God’s Word and we are all called to tell others what God says, not what we think in our own opinions.
However, formal biblical counseling should NOT be necessary if the body of Christ is loving one another as it commanded (Matt. 22:37-40). Pastoral counseling and the body loving one another is all that should be necessary, not formal biblical counseling like I do where I go into a church and counsel its members. The pastors, elders, deacons, and lay leaders should be counseling as well as the one anothering of one Christian to another – not formal counseling by an outsider.
However, just like youth pastors and seminaries are NEEDED because of the FAILURE of American churchianity to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20), likewise formal biblical counseling is needed in the church today, also.
Our ministry was birthed out of the great need that I saw that:
1) Pastors often do not know how to biblically counsel someone in the flock.
2) Pastors are often overwhelmed (and underpaid and under-appreciated) by the needs of the flock to be available to counsel. Sadly, people who could counsel are sitting in the pews dormant and ineffective at making disciples of Christ.
So, our ministry was birthed. We are commanded to obey God by fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment! That’s what TIL is called to do – and we are to come alongside the local church to empower it to do what God has called it to do (the same thing!).
Lest you think I am unfair toward youth pastors and seminaries, I am now critiquing myself and my own ministry. I see our flaws yet I also see a TREMENDOUS need for our service unto the Lord to equip, train, and enable all Christians to have a disciple-making ministry for God’s glory!
-Mark (who criticizes themselves publicly? am I going crazy? No, just being totally honest and transparent…hopefully, it’s refreshing!)
NOTE: Jesus said in Matthew 16:18b: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That is NOT the church I am critiquing in THIS post. Instead, I am critiquing American churchianity, the spectator sport of not participating in disciple-making (Matt. 28:18-20) by speaking the truth in love to others (Eph. 4:15-16) to build the real church: the body of Christ! Jesus’ real church will never be critiqued!