Equipping Members of New Life Church in Woodland Hills, California to Counsel Biblically
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Peer counseling in the church
Biblical counseling and pastoral care are both essential for church revitalization. Church members grieve the loss when a dying church closes its doors. Some may deny reality until the final closure or explode in anger at the leaders who made the decision. Others will weep with sorrow and commiserate about the church’s history. Church revitalizers must have shepherding hearts to counsel and care for the grieving in order to help them heal and become effective members in the revitalized church. This paper presents the theological basis for equipping counselors in the local church and the spiritual resources necessary to accomplish it. God calls every Christian to grow in Christ-like character, biblical comprehension, counseling competency, and commitment to the church community. God’s Word is foundational for converting the soul, comforting the suffering, convicting the sinning believer, and conforming the sanctified. God’s Spirit empowers the counselor by ministering through God’s Word, prayer, the counselor, and the counselee. The church cultivates the proper community for biblical counseling and the Great Commission establishes God’s Son as the change agent for making disciples. In summary, biblical counseling is God’s people ministering God’s Word by the power of God’s Spirit in the context of God’s church for the glory of God’s Son.