Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Goals in Counseling For those Facing Human Crisis

Goals in Counseling For those Facing Human Crisis

1. Aim to help the counselees find the solution for their problems in Jesus Christ and the scriptures. All needs can be met through His power, His love, His provisions, His word, His promises, and His comforting Spirit. Without Jesus Christ there will be no lasting solution to any difficulty, regardless of its severity. We must begin by finding out the counselee’s present relationship with Jesus Christ. Is Thomas a Christian? Is he a committed Christian? Is he a growing Christian? How obedient to the scriptures is he? Is he able to discover the solutions to his problems through the scriptures? Is he habitually abiding in Christ through prayer, fellowship, witnessing, Bible study, and Christian service? By discovering where Thomas is at in relations with Christ a counselor will have important information in helping him solve his root problems.

2. Aim to understand the counselee’s situation from Biblical, cultural, social, emotional, historical, and experiential perspectives. Without an integrated appreciations for the many forces that are affecting the counselee’s troubles, you may overlook or bypass essential elements in the solving of his or her deeper problems. We need to discover what factors have influenced Thomas’s actions It could be that Thomas thinks he is a Christian, but he lacks a born-again experience through faith in Christ. This may explain his inability to see his reality in a correct perspective. Take an integrative approach to your diagnosis and counseling for holistic solutions to the counselees’ problems.

3. See if you can determine how the counselee has previously tried to solve the problem. By asking information, interpretative, probing, and empathetic questions you can better assess the processes and motives for the counselee’s previous actions. Many times the problem of counselees like Thomas lies more with his actions, attitudes, and perspectives than with the people around him. Nurture the counselee in His relationship with the liberating, empowering, healing, restoring, reviving, and directing Spirit of God. This is done through prayer, study of the scriptures, involvement with Spirit filled believers, and through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Teach your counselee like Thomas how to filled, controlled, directed, and constantly in communion with the Spirit of God.

4. Seek a wholistic style of restoration. Do not just assume that solving Thomas’ spiritual problems will eradicate his desires for vengeance. Thomas needs to experience healing in his relationships with God, the manager, his fellow workers, his nuclear family, his extended family, and his cultural-social peers. Counselors should aim at holistic development involving all the dimensions of Thomas’ life. Your counseling should include individual, small group, large group, recreational, educational, interactive, confrontational, exhortative, evangelistic, and consoling types of ministries. Eventually, Thomas needs to see how to grow up into all these aspects through Christ. Provide him with some exemplary Christian friends who can serve as role models for overcoming his vindictive attitudes.

Help the counselee assess the level of his or her growth and minister accordingly. Thomas is obviously at a very low level of Christian growth and commitment. He needs to be convinced of his need to grow in his love, humility, faith, obedience, and spiritual maturity before long lasting solutions can be found. The goal of counseling is never to foster long term dependencies on other human beings. Instead, great counselors facilitate the growth of dependence, trust, and reliance on Jesus Christ, His Spirit and His word.

Help other members of the church, the family, and elders share your counseling ministry. Thomas would most naturally relate and identify with other workers. If you can train Christian counselors who represent a whole range of social, educational, cultural, gender, age, occupational, and interest groups you will have accomplished much for the kingdom of God. Training people who can teach others also, (2 Tim. 2:2) provides a key to successful counseling ministries in every church. This enables you to multiply your counseling ministry through the work of the saints for the building up of the body of Christ. If Thomas knew several committed Christian friends he could relate his problems to, he would most likely be on his way to restoration with God and men.

5. Aim for preventative counseling more than restorative counseling ministries. Thomas could have saved himself and others lots of grief if he would have only had taken some preventative measures to avoid the traps of greed, theft, and bitterness. Wise counselors will help him seek alternative ways to supplement his income and care for his families’ needs. Thomas’ actions showed short sightedness in trying to solve a financial problems through deceptive means. The only way to remedy our suffering is through the will of God. "Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy with Jesus", said the famous song-writer. Helping Thomas to memorize certain verses, relate his needs to other believers in a small prayer group, and calling on the body of Christ for financial assistance could have prevented a multiple of disasters from occurring.

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