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I'm a Pastoral Resident at the Austin Stone Community Church. This is my blog about everything I'm doing and learning.

My Vision for Counseling

My vision is to see the entire church body trained in biblical counseling to be more effective disciple makers in their everyday life.

I’m slowly reading through a great book called Instruments in the Redeemers Hands, by Paul Tripp. I came across a great paragraph that briefly covers one aspect of the importance of providing biblical counsel.

“We should be concerned about the thousands of hours of formal counseling that are not based on God’s Word. But we should also be concerned about the far greater amount of counseling that goes on every day between people who do not know what they are doing and people who do not know how much they are being influenced. If you are alive on this planet, you are a counselor! You are interpreting life, and sharing those interpretations with others. You are a person of influence, and you are also being influenced. there are people in your life who have your ear. Perhaps without even knowing it, they will shape your thinking, direct your desires, and influence your plan of action. The issue is not who is counseling. All of us are. The core issue is whether that counseling is rooted in the revelation of the Creator.” – Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemers Hands, Page 46.

This is a great explanation of why learning to be a more effective counselor has both temporal and eternal significance. It matters here and now because we are all counselors in some form or fashion; whether it be a friend who seeks out your advice, your opinion put out for the world to see on social media, or countless other situations where your worldview is shared and applied to someone’s life. Whether counseling occurs formally or informally, doing so from a biblical worldview, with Jesus and the Word of God at the center of your counseling ethic, will have an eternal significance. Truth properly spoken into a person’s life can direct them away from or towards their creator. It can reinforce or distance them from their identity in Christ. And it can breathe life into their pain or bring death if proper counsel is not given.

Our words are powerful, so we have to be diligent to speak not from our own authority but from God’s through Scripture. This is a good reminder for me to prayerfully and fearfully give counsel, knowing that I can point someone to Jesus or away from him with what I say.

My Vision for Counseling

As I have embarked on this internship journey, a lot of people have been asking me what my focus for counseling is. The usual examples people ask about are family counseling, couples, college students, kids, etc. This is a great question, but one I don’t usually have a typical answer to. My vision is to see the entire church body trained in biblical counseling to be more effective disciple makers in their everyday life.

As mentioned above, this is because every one of us give counsel to one another on a constant basis. But a lot of time that counsel amounts to not much more than experiential advice. Sometimes, we unintentionally give bad counsel to our friends and family. Training the church body to give Christ centered counseling based on biblical truth can help a Christian flourish in his or her faith, and go on to be more effective in making disciples. This vision is in fact discipleship at its core; but it’s discipleship with the intent of effective replication. As individuals are trained to give wise counsel, and the truth of God’s word is applied more and more into other peoples lives, those people will in turn go on to make disciples themselves.

As a note, I really shouldn’t claim this as my vision, but maybe more like my passion for God’s call to discipleship. But that’s a long title for a blog post! Regarding mission and vision, I’m of the camp that understands that our mission only flows from God’s mission; we are just a part of it. His mission for us is to make disciples of all nations, and I view counseling as an integral part of that mission.

Learning from pastors and counselors during my internship is going to vastly inform how this vision will play out in the rest of my life. It’s going to build a foundation for what will come. And, it will give me a unique opportunity to be faithful to Jesus’ mission for all Christians to make disciples.

If this desire to be a more effective disciple maker resounds with you, please join me. Join in on what Jesus has called all Christians to do, and help me walk faithfully in this calling through my internship.

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