Pastors may feel they’re offering pastoral counseling all day long. This Mentoring Moment focuses on times when people come to the pastor to sit down and talk through life issues.
Summary:Typical situations that lead to pastoral counseling:
- Premarital counseling
- Marital problems
- People dealing with difficulties and struggles
- Those who have let a problem go too long and now are desperate
- People struggling with certain sins or guilt
- Those facing health issues
The pastoral counselor can share the gift of God’s Word, both Law and Gospel, to give help and guidance.
There is a danger that pastoral counseling can get time consuming. It’s important to set boundaries as far as time.
There are times you need to refer to a professional counselor:
- Be aware of people available to you in a variety of areas.
- Look for Christian counselors.
- Meet with them in advance to know them and how they handle problems.
- Talk with people in your congregation that may have worked with Christian counselors and could refer their names to you.
- Know there might be times that someone in your congregation can help.
The church should look into counseling malpractice insurance.
Pastoral counseling gives pastors the chance to really listen to people and to encourage them—to show them not only your love and care but also Christ’s love and care.
- Is my professional referral list up to date?
- Does our church have malpractice insurance? Do I know about any regulations associated with that?