Unit III: Specific Guidelines for Pastoral Counseling
1. These are only guidelines – they are not “iron-clad” rules
2. Experience, general maturation, and exposure to others involved in this task will cause you to make “mid-course” corrections.
1 Tim. 4:15
I. Before the Session(s)
b. You are a steward of your time, your gifts, your reputation, and your position as a leader among God’s people.
c. Your inward disposition must be that of 2 Cor. 4:5 and Matt. 20:26-28, but you must not forget 1 Cor. 7:23.
b. Do you believe you are sufficiently gifted and experienced to deal with the particular problem or is there someone else in the church who is more competent?
1 Cor. 12:4-7, 11
Books of proven worth such as Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (see here; simplified, Kindle, Spanish, pdf), Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies, John Owen, Vol. 6, etc. The Christian Counselor’s Manual by Jay Adams esp. page 277-278.
See J. I. Packer in the Introduction to The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, vol. 1 “A Christian Directory”:
“The opinion that the Directory is the richest and best single counselling resource available to those who give pastoral guidance today will, no doubt, seem paradoxical until one’s way through it; after doing so, however, one is likely to find that verdict inescapable.”
a. Acquire as much information as possible beforehand.
b. When possible engage specific study on the subject.
c. Seek the input of others more experienced in the area of concern.
d. Review your notes from previous session(s).
e. Cry to God for discernment.
II. During the Session(s)
Charles Bridges, A Commentary on Proverbs, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2008), p. 338.
See Jay Adams, The Christian Counselor’s Manual, pp. 274-293.
3. Keep your eyes open.
David Murray, Christians Get Depressed Too, (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010), pp. 14-15, 28-29.
5. Avoid prejudicial analysis.
Geoffrey B. Wilson, New Testament Commentary, vol. 2 “Philippians to Hebrews and Revelation”, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2008), p. 252.
6. Check things out with others.