Discerning the Signs of Pastoral Burnout

By John Henderson | 9Marks Journal: Pastoral Burnout: Its Causes & Cures | 07.17.2018

Pastoral burnout could be defined as the moment or season when a pastor loses the motivation, hope, energy, joy, and focus required to fulfill his work, and these losses center upon the work itself.

Book Review: How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison

Review by Mike Christ | 06.16.2017

We search in vain for a tidy system of sanctification, yet on every page of this short book we witness the process unfold.

Single Pastors, Biblical Counseling, and the Local Church

By Bert Daniel | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Singles | 03.20.2017

How can a single pastor build a constructive counseling ministry in the context of the local church?

When Do You Stop Counseling?

By Deepak Reju | 08.20.2015

When to end counseling is always a judgment call that requires a lot of wisdom. The decision to bring the counseling process to a close is sometimes clear, but often not.

The Pastor and Counseling—A Conversation with Deepak Reju & Jeremy Pierre

By D. Reju, J. Leeman | 06.12.2015

How do we apply the gospel to same-sex attraction? Why does a teenager struggling with self-cutting need to hear about justification by faith alone? How in the world can a biblical doctrine of God help a husband prone to anger?

April 2015—2 New Books Released

9Marks | 04.16.2015

Check out our two latest book releases, for sale now!

Biblical Theology and Counseling

By Michael Emlet | 9Marks Journal: Biblical Theology: Guardian and Guide of the Church | 08.20.2014

Where are we? Who are we? What’s wrong? What’s the remedy?

How to Show Compassion and Avoid Pastoral Burnout

By Deepak Reju | 06.12.2014

How can pastors avoid burning out as they compassionately care for their people? Here are thirteen suggestions to consider: You are not the Lord.  The most dangerous thing about counseling is thinking you can change people, when it is really only the Lord who transforms hearts.   Obviously, you are a means of God’s grace in their life, […]

Book Review: Counsel from the Cross, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson

Review by Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Book Reviews on the Mission of the Church | 10.27.2010

These authors understand that the proper context for spiritual growth is a local church and not our own individualistic endeavors.

Discipling Men vs. Discipling Women

By Deepak Reju | 9Marks Journal: Pastoring Women | 07.01.2010

How should the Bible’s teaching about men and women inform my pastoral work?

What’s wrong with the therapeutic model of counseling?

In short, “the therapeutic” borrows a wonderful metaphor from medicine—“healing”—but reduces counseling problems to one aspect of a more complicated problem. Just as doctors aim to heal people, counselors speak of counseling in the same terms. But the problems which enter the counseling office are more complicated than that, involving not just the physical aspects of a person, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual. More importantly, the spiritual is always primary.

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. Heb. 13:17), who would you choose?

How is church-based counseling different from typical Christian counseling?

It’s more community-driven than individualistic. Most Christian counseling is purely individualistic. One counselor counsels one counselee. Most Christian counselors talk about relationships but remain wholly disconnected from the other person’s life apart from scheduled, one-on-one meetings in the counselor’s office. On the other hand, church-based counseling is a team effort (Prov. 11:14, 21:26).

What is church-based counseling?

Church-based counseling is an attempt to draw “counseling” into the general discipling work of the local church. It’s practicing counseling by equipping members and leaders to meet one another’s counseling needs rather than referring people “out” to experts.

How should biblical theology inform pastoral counseling?

A pastor should apply all of Scripture to his people’s lives in light of the gospel. Biblical theology teaches a pastor how to do this. And this enables Christians to draw comfort, encouragement, and hope from all of Scripture, even parts of it that seem more distant from our lives.
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