Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

My Story of Ministry Burnout: Idolatry, Unbelief, and the Gospel

Fairly recently Lifeway Research conducted an in-depth examination of the problem of ministry burnout and concluded through its research that only ten percent of pastors left the ministry because of burnout.[i] Whether it’s ten percent or more, ministry burnout is an issue, and it’s something I am personally familiar with. My Personal Story of Burnout I was 24 when I first experienced burnout. At the time, in 2004, I was leading Servants of Grace through a time of great growth, preaching on an internet radio station once a week, and attending a community college studying philosophy. There were many...

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What Biblical Counseling is NOT: Simply Spiritual

What Biblical Counseling is NOT: Simply Spiritual At some level all our problems are theological. A more controversial statement cannot be made in the realm of counseling, but it’s a statement that I truly believe. Since we live in God’s world everything about us, our lives and our struggles are related to God. That means everything has a theological or spiritual element to it. This truth is, in part, what drives the approach of Biblical counselors. Such a concept of people, problems, and life itself has led many to conclude that biblical counselors can only offer spiritual guidance, no...

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What Biblical Counseling is NOT: Sin-Obsessed

What Biblical Counseling is NOT: Sin-Obsessed I have been looking at some of the characterizations of Biblical Counseling over the last several weeks. There are many to consider, but I have limited myself to the most serious and most common. This critique today argues that Biblical Counseling is just focused on sin, or “sin-hunting” as some say. In truth, a multi-paradigm approach directs the individual-specific counsel that we seek to give. “Counselors don’t treat problems; they care for people.” That’s my hyperbolic way of communicating to myself, and my students, that Biblical Counseling isn’t formulaic. We don’t just place...

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Biblical Counseling Is Not Anti-Medicine

I am a biblical counselor. I spend most of my day working with others to evaluate their problems, strategize for change, and seek wisdom from God’s Word. I love what I do, but what I do is different from many of the dominant models of counseling. Biblical counseling’s emphasis is on the first of those two words: the Bible. This emphasis has led many to draw all kinds of reductionist conclusions about this model of care and make all kinds of accusations against it. In this series, it is my hope to communicate a more detailed picture of biblical...

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Strategic Issues in Counseling: Consider the Personality of Your Counselee

God has given to each of us a unique personality, an essential component of the way we express ourselves. Personality tests attempt to categories us, but each of us is at some level unique. This individuality requires counselors be sensitive and attuned to the person they are caring for. Effective counselors know that since personality shapes a counselee’s responses they must pay careful attention to that unique personality. Tim and Jinny were very different people and over the years of marriage, those differences had become increasingly more pronounced. Tim was a talker. When there were unresolved issues between he and Jenny...

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