Proposal For Local Church Counseling Ministry

Proposal for Establishing a
Biblical Counseling Ministry in the Local Church
by John Woodward
Grace Fellowship Int’l.

 

Outline

The process can be divided in four phases: Pre-planning, Planning, Training, and Ministry

1. Pre-planning phase

Identify and clarify the leader’s understanding of the counseling model.

The doctrine of sanctification

The role of psychology

The biblical model for counseling

2. Planning phase (see below)

How does the counseling ministry express the church’s values and mission?

What is this ministry’s purpose?

What are this ministry’s goals?

What is the vision?

How will this ministry be managed?

Appoint a director.

Complete ministry organization worksheet

Clarify lines of accountability with the church leadership.

Write a procedures manual.

3. Training phase (Based on the Exchanged Life Counseling model; see below)

Host an Exchanged Life Conference.

Recruit and train lay counselors.

Host an Exchanged Life Workshop.

Send director to the Institute in Spirituotherapy.

Provide ongoing equipping track for counselors.

Teach a basic counseling skills training course.

Assemble the counseling resource library.

4. Ministry phase (see below)

Individual counselor(s) begin accepting appointments.

Advertise the counseling ministry.

Supervise the counseling ministry.

Continue the training process for counselors.

Provide Christian education for the church and community to reduce personal and family problems.

Evaluate the counseling ministry semiannually

Role of Counseling Consultant (see below)


PLANNING PHASE
A. Strategic planning steps

How does the counseling ministry express the church’s values and mission?

The church’s values and mission will include the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20)

and the Great Commandment (Matt. 20:37-40).

What is the counseling ministry’s purpose?

to provide remedial discipleship, support, and guidance for needy people

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14

“Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14

“…of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” Colossians 1:25-29

“But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things– that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Exhort bondservants [employees]to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” Titus 2:1-10

What are the goals of the counseling ministry?

The goals will include targets for the counselors, counselees, and the local church.

Proverbs 16:9 – We plan, but God directs

Nehemiah 2-4 – Strategic planning is required for a new project

What is the vision of the counseling ministry?

The vision embraces the values, mission, strategy, goals, and objectives. Vision looks to how the ministry could and should develop in the future, factoring in that God will guide and produce the results through us.

Ephesians 3:20 – God can do more than we could ask or imagine

What strategy will be used?

Ephesians. 4:12 – equipping the saints for the work of the ministry

2 Timothy 2:15 – study for ministry

Galatians 6:2 – bear one another’s burdens

B. Management steps

How will this ministry be managed?

This involves the practicalities of who will lead, what policies will be used, how the ministry is conducted, etc.

Appointment of a director.

The director can be one of the pastors or a layman who report to one of the staff. The director will be the primary one to work through this planning process, help conduct the training, recruit counselors, and manage the ministry.

Complete ministry organization worksheet.

This worksheet addresses the issues of mutual expectations, roles, responsibilities, lines of accountability, conflict resolution, and the evaluation process. Clarify lines of accountability with the church leadership

Write or adapt a procedures manual.

This manual should include the counseling, ministry’s purpose and strategy, criteria for recruiting counselors, ethics, record keeping, forms, organization worksheet results (management arrangement), policies, internship and training guidelines etc.


TRAINING PHASE

(Based on the Grace Fellowship International Exchanged process. See the recommended Certification track at GraceFellowshipInternational.com)

Exchanged Life Conference

Usually a Friday night and Saturday presentation of how to live victoriously in Christ. (Available online or by DVD)

Recruit and train lay counselors

Although the ministry can begin with the director as the only counselor, there should be a process of facilitating the selection and training of others that are gifted, committed, trained, and approved for the counseling ministry.

Exchanged Life Workshop

A three and one half day training event for those who know Christ as life and desire equipping for helping others appropriate Christ as their life. It includes teaching, video demonstration, role-playing, practice, and group discussion. Although this is an essential training step for counselors, everyone who attends this event will not necessarily be recruited for the formal church counseling ministry. (Offered three times per year in Pigeon Forge)

Online Lecture Series

25 recorded lectures with notes. Upon enrollment, the student goes through these videos at his/her own pace. A certificate of completion is given if the student writes a document giving a summary paragraph of each lecture’s content. Some churches acquire a site license for this module (therefore, no additional cost for those in the church’s training process).

Ongoing equipping track for counselors

Guided study courses are available, such as  from G.F.I. Diploma courses.

Basic counseling skills training course (such as How Can I Help, by Dr. Skip Hunt)

Assemble counseling resource library

Materials are needed to equip counselors and guide counselees. These resources include books, CDs and DVDs. The topics include Exchanged Life teaching, marriage enrichment, parenting, financial management, career guidance, health issues, etc.

The library is a lending service for counselees.


MINISTRY PHASE

Counseling

Individual counselor(s) begin accepting appointments

Use office(s) designated for the counseling ministry.

Use intake form.

Use library resources for homework.

Keep files of counselees.

Follow ethical guidelines.

Make referrals when necessary.

Report to supervisor as determined.

Advertise ministry

Announce counseling ministry in the church bulletin.

Make and distribute business cards and flyer.

Supervise

Church leadership oversees ministry, make mid-course corrections, etc.

Continue training process

Counselors continue personal study, distance education, etc.

Evaluate

Use testimonies from counselees.

Reports from counselors are made and reviewed.


ROLE OF COUNSELING CONSULTANT

Role:

Facilitate the pastoral leadership of the church in starting and developing an effective Exchanged Life counseling ministry

Producing this planning presentation

Facilitating the pastor and/or director:

in the pre-planning process

in the planning process

in the training process

Serving as a resource person after the ministry is operational.

Conditions for continued consultant work

Acceptance of a consultant agreement:

Written invitation from the church, specifying

Expectations,

Role,

Responsibilities,

Hours of participation,

Frequency of assistance,

And method of reporting

Acceptance by GFI

 

JBW 2/02

Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Subscribe to receive Grace Notes

Grace Notes is a Biblical email devotional sent weekly and freely to our subscribers. The goal is to highlight the dynamics of abundant living through Christ.

  • And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Please feel free to subscribe! It's free!

cross_sunset

Sign up to receive Grace Notes weekly

Everyone needs grace, so everyone needs Grace Notes! Receive our weekly publication, free, in your inbox. Timely messages to meet your grace need.

"I love Grace Notes!" -- DP, subscriber

A verification email from Grace Notebook has just been sent to you! Please click on it to confirm your subscription.

If you do NOT click on the confirmation link in this email, your email address will NOT be added.

If the email does not appear shortly, please check your spam folder. If possible, please whitelist john@gracenotebook.com.

Thank-you!

boy

Hold on!

cross_sunset

Sign up to receive Grace Notes weekly

Everyone needs grace, so everyone needs Grace Notes! Receive our weekly publication, free, in your inbox. Timely messages to meet your grace need.

Close

"I love Grace Notes!" -- DP, subscriber

boy

Hold On!

A verification email from Grace Notebook has just been sent to you! Please click on it to confirm your subscription.

Close

If you do NOT click on the confirmation link in this email, your email address will NOT be added.

If the email does not appear shortly, please check your spam folder. If possible, please whitelist john@gracenotebook.com.

Thank-you!