The Great Commission is known by serious Christians as an important mandate given to the followers of Christ. It is found in Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (ESV).”
Thankfully, biblical counselors all over the United States take very seriously this Great Commission to go and make disciples of Christ “teaching them to observe” all that Jesus taught His disciples. The field of biblical counseling is fulfilling the Great Commission well, yet I see room for improvement and thus developed the model for TIL from Luke 10:1: “After this the Lord appointed sevent-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go (NIV).”
TIL is a unique model that is NOT widely employed because it requires two persons to do the work of discipleship and biblical counseling. The model requires double the time and double the effort but it is based upon Christ’s model from Luke 10:1. Christ Jesus (as a Man) was pioneering a way to conduct ministry and it offers many benefits to Christians who choose to be a part of it. TIL is a team approach to biblical counseling under the authority of the local church. It is based on Ephesians 4:15: “…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, Christ.”
“While it is much easier to remain silent when others around us are harming themselves or others with a sinful pattern, it is not the loving thing to do.”** The counseling and teaching model for Truth in Love Ministries has been uniquely designed to most effectively speak the truth in love and multiply disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke 10:1 tells us how Jesus appointed a group other than His twelve disciples and sent them ahead of Himself to do, what I would term, “lay ministry” in pairs or teams. So, just as Jesus sent them out two by two, Truth in Love Ministries will send two biblical counselors to each and every biblical counseling session. This team approach to counseling is unique yet offers a balanced and effective way to “speak the truth in love.”
The model for Truth in Love Ministries is a co-counseling model. The benefits of this team approach to ministry are manifold. Here is just one of the benefits. First, with two counselors, wisdom, experience, and insight are doubled for the person(s) being counseled. When surgery is required on the human body, no surgeon goes into the operating room alone. If the surgery is serious, often there will be another surgeon with the primary surgeon, along with numerous other support staff, acknowledging the seriousness of the situation. Likewise, this standard will be upheld for the Christian counselors of Truth in Love Ministries, who will be dealing with the human heart and very serious spiritual matters.
Stay tuned for more of the benefits of this model in future blogging sessions!
-Mark Shaw (thankful for Christ)
P.S. Our team of biblical counselors LOVE the co-counseling model! To God be the Glory!
**Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 146.