What are the advantages of church-based counseling?
Church-based counseling places the counseling process into the context of leaders and people who are already responsible before God to watch over your soul. If you have a choice between (i) seeing someone who knows nothing about you and has no obligation to you outside of counseling or (ii) seeing someone who will give an account to God for how well he has watched over your soul (e.g. Hebrews 13:17), who would you choose?
Church-based counseling reaffirms our commitment to build one another up in the faith (Eph. 4:11-13). In counseling, there is always a temptation to treat people like problems that need to be solved. On the other hand, counseling within the church clearly fits into a local church’s overall project of helping one another grow to maturity in Christ.
Church-based counseling is a natural extension of our covenant with one another as members of the same church. When a church member sees a counselor in his church, he is meeting with someone who has already made a commitment to do him spiritual good.
Church-based counseling can connect people to others who can help bear their burdens. It also allows for a team of wise counselors to speak into a person’s life, rather than just one (Prov. 11:14, 21:26).
Church-based counseling allows the counselor to live as a Christ-like example inside and outside the counseling setting. It shows the counselee that the counselor doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk.
For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org