We know counseling ain't easy. Polls show that most pastors prefer the pulpit to the counselor's chair. Not only are the problems people bring intractably complex and heart-rending, they consume vast quantities of time.
Yet we hope this issue of the 9Marks eJournal will do two things for you, pastor: encourage you to look for ways to bring counseling into your local church, and introduce you to an incredible resource, the individuals and materials at the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF). Both parts of CCEF's vision statement nail it on the head: "Restoring Christ to counseling and counseling to the church." Is your counseling Christ-centered or moralistic? And how are you cultivating a culture of counseling and discipleship in your church?
Browse the CCEF website to learn more about their materials and courses. But learn below about CCEF's counselors, and get their take on important topics in counseling today. We also asked Pastor Michael Lawrence why every pastoral intern he oversees reads one particular CCEF book.
Pastor Deepak Reju gets the ball rolling by considering the advantages of bringing counseling back into the local church and by situating counseling under the larger umbrella of discipleship.