Counseling and the Local Church

Counseling and the Church

Pastor Dave Bovenmyer, Stonebrook Community Church, Ames, Iowa

© Great Commission Churches, 2004, 2007, used by permission

Recently, I was involved in a conversation where a fellow-pastor expressed concern about how many people in his church were going for counseling.  People were taking issues that he felt could and should be addressed within the church to a counselor—issues like struggles within marriage or with the kids, or with anxiety or discouragement.   He questioned whether this was really good.  Should our people be running off to counselors for issues that we can and ought to be addressing?  It seems that psychiatric counseling has gained so great an acceptance in our culture that even within the church many people’s first impulse when confronted with a difficult problem is to seek a counselor rather than a pastor or other church leader.  Gradually, psychologists have replaced the clergy as the experts in how to change human behavior. Continue reading